Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Could It Be People Thought They Were Wasting Their Time?

People are lamenting, once again, a low voter turnout. For me, it is sad, but not a surprise. People a) didn't like the choices offered to them and b) thought that their vote would be wasted because our electoral system is rigged against representation by popular vote. The fact is we have a government elected with about 12% less than a majority of the popular vote. This government will behave pretty much as the last one did, by using a combination of intimidation and obstruction. The prime minister will not listen to anyone but himself, so no change there. Is it any wonder people stayed home? I am amazed anyone showed up at all.
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  1. I strongly support low voter turnouts.

    Make my vote count more, suckers!! :p

  2. Let's not forget that this was the first election held with the new neo-con voter suppression... er...identification laws in place. Ask any university student, senior or new (not white) Canadian how their voting experience went.

  3. Clearly, requiring a person to show a driver's license, a health card, or a combo of a photo id and a bank statement is a racist conspiracy.

  4. I was not aware that 'university students' and 'seniors' were actually considered races (unless you consider 'unlikely to vote republi-con' to be a race).

    But since you imply that there is no racism involved in these new ID laws, what is your explanation for the veil kerfuffle that triggered the new ID laws in the first place? It looks like garden variety islamophobia to me.

    Face facts, the only reason we have voter suppression/identification laws from this band of asshats is that they worked so well for Carl Rove in propping up republicans in the last few elections.

    By the way, I am not meaning to imply that the majority of conservatives are racists, but the majority of racists I have had the displeasure of meeting just happened to be conservative. Weird coincidence, eh?

  5. I assumed that "new (not white) Canadian" was a reference to dark people (i.e., race).

    There are two main ways that people cheat in elections -- knocking people off the voter's list who shouldn't be and having people vote using multiple identities or who aren't eligible. (Well, there's a third, the caterpillar method -- meant to defeat the secret ballot -- but that's been dealt with by having proper supervision of ballots when they're cast, so that people can't switch pieces of paper on Elections Canada officials.)

    Any serious attempt at dealing with electoral fraud covers both. A combination of allowing same-day (election day) voter registration and requiring photo ID (and proof of residence) covers it all.


    I've voted in two Canadian provinces and two American states, three of the four places when I was living in university housing.

    Whether I was registering to vote in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, (or registering my mother to cast her ballot from her last Californian address) I found it to be a very easy process. As it happens, the only place that has given me problems with a ballot thus far is the liberal bastion of Somerville, Massachusetts, which has not yet seen fit to provide me with a ballot for this fall's general election even though I re-registered to vote from abroad months ahead of the deadline.

    But even Somervillian idiocy has a cure from the feds.

  6. Seriously though, I have no patience whatsoever with people who choose not to vote and then whine and complain about it.

    I heard my mother complaining about American politics enough five years ago that I filled out a California registration for her to vote in the 2004 election, and she's been voting in general elections and Democrat primaries ever since.

    One of my co-workers was talking about how Conservatives only win by suppressing the vote and how he thought Bob Rae would make a good Liberal leader, and I tried to convince him to join the Liberal Party and send in a vote for his hero in the leadership race that's probably coming up. (He refused, and admitted that he hadn't voted in this past election, even though he lives in a competitive riding in the 905 which was won by less than a thousand votes this time out.)


    Whatever our history has been, there's no grand conspiracy now, and no excuse whatsoever for an engaged citizenry to complain that the system is stacked against their voting.

    Now, one can be like our host here and complain that one's ballot isn't worth much under the present system, but that's a whole 'nother matter.

    (And he still voted, just the same.)

  7. "neo-con voter suppression"

    The right to vote is a power to govern others. If you can not see that the power must be exercised responsibly and guarded from abuse, then I conclude whatever education you have has been wasted on you.