I hope everyone in Ontario is voting in the election and the referendum today.
While walking back from voting I was thinking about why people might not want to vote. I realized that people who don’t vote because they are apathetic are directly responsible for increasing and continuing their own apathy, which eventually comes down to their own laziness.
For a person who is apathetic because they dislike the current “establishment” and feel their vote won’t change anything, their act of not voting is actually giving more strength to the “establishment” they claim to dislike. The best thing a person in this position could be doing is one of:
- Voting for a candidate who is closest to their position, realizing none of them will be exactly where they want. This would typically be a smaller-party candidate. A vote for a party you know will not win the election is not a wasted vote, by any stretch. Further, by helping increase the profile of the smaller-party candidate you are helping to bring the “fringe issues” you care about into the mainstream, and eventually a candidate who is closer aligned with your real position will be able to run a viable campaign.
- If you really can’t vote for any of the candidates, go to the polling station and decline your vote. This sends an important message and still ensures your voice is heard.
- Vote for the MMP referendum. This would actually help smaller candidates and parties get seats in parliament to push issues you care about.
Lastly, I’ve always liked this: if you don’t vote you give up your right to complain about anything related to politics.