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October 04, 2008

Don't Vote - Why should I bother voting? What's the point in voting? Why vote? How can I vote when there's no one to vote for?

This YouTube video -- "Hollywood Declares Themselves" -- features Hollywood celebrities who all have something to say to voters who think there's no point in voting because all politicians are the same, all politicians lie, all politicians are corrupt, because nothing ever changes, because they don't know who to vote for, because the system is rigged, or whatever. 

You've heard people say all of these things about voting, right? You've probably said some of these things yourself.

And you've probably heard other people say that the only reason they vote is so that they get the right to complain after the election: that if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain about who did or didn't get elected.

The video may offend some people -- but that's the point -- to wake people up and get them to put down their TV remotes long enough to tune into something that matters and to convince them that apathy sucks.

If you're Canadian and you're looking for more information on voting, call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or go to www.elections.ca to find out where and when to vote. Advance polls are open right now (Saturday October 4 and Monday, October 6), so if you want to get voting over with, you can vote now and then relax and enjoy the rest of October while everyone else is spinning out in election mode.

DeclareYourself at YouTube: The launch page for 58 (and counting) fun videos about voting.
Voter Madness! Another YouTube video from DeclareYourself -- made in the tradition of -- gasp! -- Reefer Madness!
: A fabulous US blog that focuses on motherhood and social change. This is where I found out about this series of YouTube videos from DeclareYourself.com (a US non-profit organization that encourages citizens to get out and vote).


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Hi Lara -

I haven't been able to find any print/electronic news source that is providing any statistics from the debate. I checked out the CHEX website and hit a dead end there as well. I verify all information I put on this website because I want my blog readers to have the best (most factually accurate) information I can provide. If you can provide me with a press release written by Jamaican Self-Help or Adam Scott with details about the outcome, I'd be happy to post it. Note: I also checked the Jamaican Self-Help website. They have a news release announcing the debate, but none announcing the outcome. Neither of the two Examiner stories on the debate contains a statistic about the outcome. It appears that Peterborough This Week did not attend the debate.

With regard to your other comments, members of the local or national Liberal campaign team would be in a better position to address your points regarding the political history of their party, their financial situation, and their current campaign strategies than I am.

I don't seem to pick up the same "sense of entitlement" vibe from the Liberal Party as you do. I see them as being part of the family of progressive parties who are eager to take Canada forward in a positive, forward-thinking, socially-conscious direction. I also think very highly of the NDP Party (which I supported in the last Federal election) and the Green Party (which I have a huge amount of admiration for).

I also had a lot of respect for the Progressive Conservatives. I even voted for them once in my young-and-foolish university days. But that was before they lost the "Progressive" part. You see, for me, it's all about the progressive part.

I didn't catch Dean Del Mastro on Mike Duffy Live -- but I did catch one of his earlier appearances with Garth Turner as another guest on the same show. The segment is on YouTube, if you missed it.

Were those rumors about the cabinet job that Dean Del Mastro is potentially being considered for sourced to anyone in particular -- or were they the anonymous kind of rumors that tend to fly around at election time -- the kind that can be used to pitch constituents on the merits of re-electing a particular MP?

Speaking of rumors, that statement you made about Betsy McGregor describing herself as "cabinet material" is a rumor that someone started back when she was running for the Liberal nomination in Peterborough Riding last year. How odd that it would surface again right now.

Here's the thing you need to know about Betsy McGregor. She's a really unassuming, hard-working person. Yes, she has ambition, but it's the right kind of ambition: she wants to get to Ottawa to put her skills to work for Peterborough Riding, not to find out what Ottawa has in store for her. Remember: she's already achieved great success in her career many times over, including in government (on the civil service side of things). She doesn't have anything to prove to anyone so she's not campaigning with a chip on her shoulder. She's a very smart woman with a lot to offer, just like the Green Party's Emily Berrigan and Elizabeth May (two other very smart women I admire greatly).

I hope this helps to answer all your questions.

Glad to hear you're going to vote. We won't be voting for the same team, but we'll be making democracy work as well as it works right now. Then, after the election, however it turns out, those of us who think that democracy needs a reno can keep working on that project. (Hey, TV producers: anyone want to create a show called "DEMOCRACY RENO"?)


Hi Lara -
There must have been a glitch because I don't remove any comments (unless they are SPAM or out-and-out abusive; hate speech; or something similar). My blog uses that feature that requires you to type a code after you hit "post" (in order to verify that you're not a robot) so it's possible that your friend missed that step or the code didn't work. I'm glad you came back to pass along the information again.
I'll respond to it shortly. Just wanted to give you a quick response so you'd know I got your message.

I hear you, Stage Left. I hear your frustration SO LOUDLY. (You should read the essay I wrote for THE MATERNAL IS POLITICAL -- "Campaign Confidential." It was written when I was in the darkest pits of democratic despair.) I just don't know if letting the Conservatives coast to victory in every riding in Canada (by having the other 62% of us sit out the election) is the way to achieve democratic reform and a more just and fair Canada.

I was so disappointed when I did not see my friends comment posted regarding your response to Mike about why you felt the landslide victory at the Jamaica Self Help debate wasn't valid. I guess I'll mention it again incase there was a computer glitch. There was not 10 people polled, it was 10 people per pollster, giving MP Del Mastro at 72% to 2% victoruy in the debate over the Liberal Candidate.
Anyway, onto my current point of view, I agree that everyone should get out and vote, however the arrogance of the Liberals along with their culture of entitlment has shone brighter than ever when they put a call out for "strategic voting" claiming they are the only ones to vote for if people didn't want the Conservatives to win.
Basically the Liberals are saying that the Green Party and NDP votes don't count. Well, I guess that NDP and Green supporters should know that for every vote cast $1.75 goes to the party, I believe, so a strong showing for the NDP and the Greens makes them stronger and means the Liberal aren't indirectly stealing money from the other parties to pay back their own debts. Although I can't blame the Liberal Party for trying to do whatever they can to make money seeing as they had to borrow money for this election, and most of the leadership runners still haven't paid off their debts from the 2006 race.
Anyway, did you catch MP Del Mastro on Mike Duffy last night, Duff wanted Dean to keep "pounding in Peterborough" believe. Also, since the Liberal Candidate in the past has mentioned that voters should vote for her because she's "Cabinet Material", hmm I guess people reading this should think about voting for Dean Del Mastro, because, as quoted in the Sept 10th edition of the "Ontario Farmer" Newspaper, I beleive MP Del Mastro was being mentioned by Tory insiders to be the next "Minsiter of Agriculture". I hope this stays on the website, and doesn't get deleted just because it isn't in favour of the candidate you support.

The reasons not to vote are many, not the least being that it only supports the flawed thing that our [possibly once] democracy has become.

Why should we support a system where 38% of the popular vote equals a "majority" government?

Why should we support a system where a riding MP gets sent to Ottawa based on the opinion of the greatest minority?

Why should we vote for people who will go to the House and represent the party instead of their riding?

I can think of no good reason to vote, and will not do so until my vote actually means something.

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