Sunday, 7 October 2007

Voting - Must we all?

As we approach another round of provincial elections in Ontario, and as I've been joining the ranks of canvassers telling people to go out and vote - I increasingly wonder whether or not it really is something everybody should be doing. I mean, in an ideal world all of us would be civic minded, informed on the issues and motivated to vote for the candidate that's best suited to represent our needs and wants. But that really isn't the world we live in now, is it?

My thoughts on this are somewhat framed around two groups of people - those who are uninformed and uninterested in politics and don't plan on voting, and those who are highly informed/interested but plan to symbolically abstain or not vote because they are simply unhappy with all of their choices for candidates/parties.

Even though both groups have distinctly different reasons for keeping away from the ballot box, many of them will in fact follow their gut and stay away. But a good chunk of them won't be able to escape at least some inevitable promotional effort for them to hit the polls - and some of these will take the bait. Of those who do end up voting 'for the sake of voting' and check a name that they are not personally happy with - the potential consequences can be pretty darn big seeing as we've got close races at all political levels these days, and that they could inadvertently help put a government in power that could end up screwing them in return.

So I'm a little torn - part of me still feels as if we would all be better off if everybody voted, yet a growing part of me feels like a bad vote can be far worse than a non vote.

Where do ya'll stand on this one?

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