You can vote if you want.

There is nothing more annoying in politics than listening to some chowder-head radio disc jockey on election day admonishing people to get out and vote. I always want to append that with the qualifier ‘If you know what you are doing, get out and vote.” And add to that, ‘If you do not know what you are doing, don’t.’

Can you imagine voting for a person because you like the way they comb their hair? Have you ever heard a young person new to voting who calls out to a parent using the next voting screen “Who am I supposed to vote for? And you would not believe some of the questions asked of you because you are wearing identification as a voting official. Many of the questions you cannot legally answer. What you would really like to say sometimes is ‘Go away, you are too dumb to vote.’ That would get you in trouble.

But understand me here. I will fight to the death for your right to vote. You just need to get a clue before you do. If nothing else, read that awful and often unhelpful literature that comes to your home. They usually spell the name of the candidate correctly. Watch some television news programs about the election. Go to a local debate between candidates. Read a daily newspaper—if there are any left. And if you are curious, go to the local candidate’s campaign offices—they are the ones with all the signs. Ask questions!

What I can assure you, is that Twitter and Facebook are very poor sources of information about an election. When the stupid only follow the ignorant, you end up with people like Donald Trump running your country.

It came as a surprise the other day that there are people who want to make sure you have the right to decline your ballot. In some provinces (including Ontario) there is a line in the returning officers’ report for “Declined Ballots.” This is usually interpreted as a way of voting for “None of the above.” While I will admit that it can sound like a viable option sometimes, it is meaningless in terms of the overall election.

The fact that none of the candidates in your electoral district appeals to you is your problem, not the process. You have the opportunity to join a political party, participate in policy discussions and help choose the candidate. If you do not like any of the candidates, take a look in a mirror. There is where the fault lies.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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