Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pondering Politics

I have always been non-political. There have been times that I tried to care. I would follow the speeches and read up on the false promises. I engaged in discussion with my friends and let them influence my vote. One day, I realized that the facts I was spewing in regards to the candidates were all nothing but verbal plagiarism. I was simply repeating what the people around me had said, and pretending to have a genuine opinion. My best friend has a degree in political science. She has a genuine opinion on politics, and I trust and respect her judgment. Since she was informed, I would vote how she encouraged me to.  When I mimicked quips and facts from her it wasn’t necessarily an attempt to sound smart, but rather an attempt to include myself in the wave of discussion and debate that periodically sweeps our nation and province. I felt like it was blasphemous to admit that I didn’t care, and to allow sloth to prevent me from standing in line at the polls. I read peoples facebook statuses that state that it is my responsibility as a Canadian to vote, that I have a choice and a voice and that this is my big chance to be heard!  If I dared mention to a client or co-worker that I simply wasn’t interested in the candidates or the election, I was venerable to a verbal attack. Since I don’t like getting attacked, I lied.

After a few years of being under the rule of the party that I was encouraged by many to vote against a few years ago, I have made a few observations. I am a common citizen, the epitome of Average Joe. I live paycheque to paycheque, struggle to afford luxuries such as vacations and entertainment, and have little to no back-up plan. I work full-time and a good chunk of my income goes to taxes. Sometimes I get annoyed at our social system, our health care system and even our school system. I feel like there is too much coming out of my pocket and that I am supporting people’s drug habits and poor lifestyle choices. Then I realize that it has always been like that. As long as my country is to remain semi-socialist, it isn’t going to change. So, what is the trade? The social system keeps our crime rates low. The healthcare system is far from perfect, but has always fulfilled my basic needs, now as much as ever. Our roads are fairly safe and constantly improving. Although it isn’t perfect, it is a far cry from terrible. I live in a nation where I get to complain about having too much to eat, where the most recent cause of discomfort was due to my internet being down for an hour, and where our tap water is clean, safe and delicious.  It is a country where I receive a fair and impartial trial for any offense that I commit, and where our jails are clean and safe. No country is free of corruption, but here the corruption isn’t in my face, which is important to me. I feel that all of the current candidates will be able to maintain those things for me, regardless if any of the negative things they are saying about each other are true.

I reserve my right to not vote in the coming election. I feel that whatever party is in power, the fundamentals of our country will remain in tact. I think that it would be irresponsible of me to go to the polls without being informed, and frankly, I have better things to do with the little bit of spare time I have than get informed. In fact, each commercial I see on TV encourages me to NOT vote.  They encourage me to discourage such childishness. If I was to vote, my decision would be based not on the false promises and the dirt dug up on each other, instead it would be based on 1st impressions and appearances.  I wouldn’t know who to vote for: Stephen Harper has creepy vampire eyes, Jack Layton has a stupid mustache, and the Liberal guy has a strange name  and bad hair.  The Green Party leader could lose a few pounds, and voting green is just a thrown vote anyways and not worth sacrificing my spare time.

So, to all my fellow Canadians that are political and that are informed and that don’t mind spending their time on this sort of thing, thank you, for taking the time to make an informed decision, and for not judging me on my refusal to do so.

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