Why I don’t vote

In essence it is a question of reform, can we reform what we have now to bring us towards a better society. The system now clearly doesn’t work, here I’m not just talking about Canada, with growing wealth gaps both nationally and internationally, and corporate abuses just as prevalent, if not more so, now than ever. But that is a question, the failings of neo-liberalism, to be dealt with at another time. The question is whether voting is the course to change the system, if voting can change the beneficiaries of politics from businesses to people. The first thing to get out of the way is that there is nothing inherently democratic about voting. When there are no other options but the status quo, or a new face of the status quo, you don’t have a choice. This is important because in no way am I against democracy, I’m against what we parade around as democracy.

With the voting system we have now we have a choice between 3 parties, disregarding the Bloc, none of whom have any real interest in change. They all talk about change, their platforms are meant to explain to us how they will make Canada a better place for everyone. But none of them care about fundamental change, or dealing with anything actually game changing that is wrong. They are happy as it is, they don’t have to worry about living pay cheque to pay cheque and don’t have to care about those who do. Never mind the horrible environmental record and plans of all the major parties, or their complacency with the way our current system deals with the 3rd world. Even the NDP, who are supposed to be our hope for socialism, rarely talk about the poor. We always hear about how they will help the middle class which ,they say at least, every other party wants to hammer. No matter how self absorbed we feel the middle class isn’t all that matters.We’re always told that if we want to protest we should spoil our ballet, or vote for some obscure party. Thinking that showing the government that you are annoyed (which doesn’t really work in and of itself since spoiled ballets are all counted together no matter how they are spoiled) will cause them to want to listen is idealistic at best. The answer isn’t sending letters to MPs, it isn’t trying to vote in a different pro business party. It is to show the politicians that the people they don’t care about mean business. It’s about educating people, getting them to understand the problems with what we have now. We just need to look through history at some of the biggest changes to see what really makes a difference. It wasn’t voting that overthrew apartheid, and it wasn’t voting that ended segregation in the United States.

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~ by Chris Stevens on April 28, 2011.

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