tl;dr: go vote, dammit.
I have talked with several friends over the past several weeks about voting in tomorrow’s federal election. Some of them have mentioned the following: “My vote won’t matter,” or even worse, “I don’t care.”
We should be grateful that we live in a country with some semblance of a working democracy – one where we have a reasonable expectation that voting is not a potentially lethal adventure. This alone should be reason enough for you to consider voting. To abstain from voting, in light of the struggles citizens in other countries encounter to democratically vote their officials, smacks of self-entitlement: that one would be so actively selfish as to avoid contributing towards a common cause that ultimately affects our country as a whole.
But I believe there is another reason why you should vote: the legitimacy of your opinions in the political discourse. If you had the opportunity the vote but chose not to, your opinions in the political discourse are frankly worthless. It does not matter whether, a few months the road, you absolutely loathe the elected officials or wax lyrical about them.
What if, at this point, you still believe that your vote does not matter? Consider the following: what if everyone else held that same opinion? How incredibly intimidating it would be to have an very tiny minority of the portion of the population define who runs our country. Of course your vote matters. It counts as a tiebreaker in the closest of votes. It might count as affirmation of a lopsided result. Or it might serve as inspiration for a less popular candidate, knowing that he or she has a voter base to build upon for the following election. Your vote matters, regardless of circumstance, and to think otherwise would be myopic at best.
If you have no clue where to start or who to vote for, here are some useful links:
- Figure out who you most closely align with through Vote Compass: http://votecompass.com
- Read a summary of each party’s campaign promises: http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/compare-federal-party-platforms-and-election-promises-1.3271149
- Know where to vote: http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
So tomorrow: go vote, dammit. There are few excuses when it comes to electing your own officials.