So. For those of you who aren’t local, there was an election in my province last night. The results shocked the pollsters, who somehow got it all wrong. End result? More of the same of what we had before.
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I get quite into the elections. I always try to convince everyone to vote, I always ask who they’re voting for and why, and I refuse to argue with them if I disagree. I think it’s kind of sad that people think it’s rude to talk about politics, but I also get it. So many people get so heated about it that those conversations get awkward fast. And as the number one conflict avoider of the universe, I get why you’d want to avoid that.
But it’s also just really interesting. And important. And the voter turn-out yesterday and at most elections indicates a plague of apathy. And how are you supposed to get people to stop being apathetic about something you’re not supposed to talk about? So. I just talk about it anyway. I don’t judge (out loud) and am mainly curious about how other people see things. I think I’ve mentioned before that I mostly tend to forget that I am not base line normal and not everyone thinks exactly the same way I do, so I like to ask rather than make assumptions. I am almost always surprised.
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I really enjoyed this election on a personal level because it was the first election I have participated in where I did not vote strategically. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the concept, it’s when – instead of voting for who you want — in order to prevent vote splitting of those with somewhat similar ideologies, you vote for who is most likely to beat the one you don’t want. Mathematically, it might be legitimate, but democratically it’s bullshit.
Ultimately it leads to a two-party system, which a) is not how our system is supposed to work and b) is one of the most divisive and polarizing systems you could come up with if you sat down and tried to come up with a divisive and polarizing system. Every time I’ve engaged in strategic voting (which would be every election but this one since I moved back to Canada six years ago), I felt dirty after. Like I was selling myself out and buying into a cynicism I am not yet ready to embrace.
So this year I voted for a party who literally had no chance. And they didn’t win. And I am completely ok with that because I still like myself today.
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There are people – several of whom are my friends – who I know are devastated by this result. I’m not. The people have spoken, at least the ones who could be bothered, and this is what was chosen. It is what I would have chosen? No. I’d have swung the other way, but only slightly. (I don’t really like the people in power, but I’m not especially in love with the opposition either. I’m assuming that similar sentiments in others may have had something to do with low turnout, but who knows.) I prefer minority governments.
Actually, in a perfect world, I’d like to see them do away with the parties altogether and have only independents run and may the best person in each riding win and then they can all hash things out without having to toe party lines. But no one consults me on these things.
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So, for those of you from BC, how did you feel about all this? What do you think would have been the dream result? And then for everyone, can you think of a better system? Or a way to get people to care? Do you vote for who you vote for because you like them or because you don’t like the alternative? Or for some other reason? Do you always vote the same? If you don’t vote, why? What is your political utopia? Any other thoughts?