Sunday, 1 April 2012

What does it take?

If I could grow wings, I would do any thing just to make you believe...

Today was a beautiful day to do some door knocking. I had some wonderful conversations that totally do not reflect the poll numbers being published. Talking to the electorate, definitely 1 in 3 are not in favor for either leading parties (where these polls get +30% I have no idea who they are calling) at least not in my constituency, or the neighbourhood I canvassed today. Which for me, affirms my belief that polls are just free advertising for those who can afford them.

Also, I had some conversations that well, let’s just say: what does it take to convince people the insanity of not voting. It reminds me of when I was in Grade 6 at St. Clement’s School in Edmonton. The boys would not let the girls play soccer on the soccer field. So a friend of mine and myself started a petition to fight for our right to play on the soccer field and the girls won their right to play on the soccer field. Unfortunately, only a handful of the girls actually liked playing soccer – the rest just signed the petition to win the right. Eventually because of lack of use of the field the boys took over the field again. Fortunately, the boys compromised and let the girls who liked to play soccer join the teams.

The moral of the story is: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. The above is the best case scenario, the boys compromised. But with voting, the worst case senario is a dictatorship capable of establishing martial law without opposition. No Votes = No Democracy. Albeit, this won’t happen at the provincial level (if Canada won’t let Quebec separate, I doubt it will let a dictatorship exist in Alberta) But technically, if you look at some of the policies that have been passed, like deregulating energy, or the consolidation of health boards without a plan, budget or well-defined vision or charging the lowest royalties in the world on our oil reserves, – I would say Alberta has not enjoyed a democracy either.

In 2008 in my constituency, the incumbent didn’t even win with a majority of the popular vote (41% casted ballots) and was elected with only 15% of the electorate vote; 23% voted for the other candidates; 62% did not vote – for whatever excuse – my vote does not count, you cannot beat them, I am not political, I do not want to vote for the wrong candidate, you name it I have heard it. The way things are right now, if everyone who voted in 2008 voted the same in 2012 and I convinced only 1 in 3 of those who did not vote to cast a protest vote and at least vote for me since they didn’t think their vote counted any way... I would win. So if you really think your vote does not count, prove me wrong and cast a protest vote. If you can – vote for me, if not vote for whom you think least likely to win and see how interesting the next legislature will be.

I am not encouraging a social experiment, this is your right and duty to vote. I am saying everyone needs to cast a vote. If you like how things are right now, by all means vote for the current government. If not, and you are not sure of the other party platforms then cast a protest vote.

Running as an independent is not anyone’s first choice to run. I did not want to do it in my first election (that’s a whole other story.) I am not arrogant enough to say I am the best choice, either. I only know 2 of the other candidates – 1 respect, and with the other I totally am disappointed. My point is if you have an independent candidate, the chances are they are sincerely wanting to represent the electorate first and not the party. That is who you want to vote for – someone who you feel will work in your best interest – not their own, not their party’s, not their sponsors’ but your interest.

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