Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I just now left me a bigass comment over to StageLeft an' I'm rollin' it into this here boog story. Over to StageLeft, SL hisself was tellin' how he's gonna voice his disapproval of the whole dang system by spoilin' his ballot. If yer thinkin' along them lines, SL's got some specific instruction that'll help. Commenter an' gummint-loathin' libertarian Ian Scott sez he ain't gonna bother wastin' his time votin' an' he recommends we do somethin' more enjoyable like maybe fly-fishin'.
Well, I reckon I’ll hafta disagree with Ian. I’ll be goin’ over to the Lions Hall sometime today an’ castin’ my vote. I’ll be votin’ for the Green guy an’ fer the MMP. The Greens’ll get about 4% in my rural riding. MMP’ll fail. The miserably flawed system will have pretty much negated my two losing choices.
Why will I bother participating? It’s the best and only system we’ve got.
I don’t think MMP is perfect but I do think it’s an improvement over the status quo and worthy of my support. My vote for my local GPC loser sends a message to my winning PC MPP that there’s a handful o’ Mother Earth-lovin’ treehuggers among his constituents.
I respect StageLeft's spoiled ballot. He's at least tryin’ to say somethin’. I don’t reckon very many people are gonna unnerstand just what it is his spoiled ballot’s tryin’ to say but his follow-up letter to the MPP is a good idea.
I ain’t fer stayin’ away an’ not votin’, though. It ain’t outta any dumbass, flag-wavin’, democracy-toutin’ patriotism. It also ain’t outta any party loyalty tribalism. I vote so that the winner understands that the ones who voted for him aren’t the only ones he’s duty bound to represent.
I never voted until I was about 40, BTW. My philosophy was that the civil servants, diplomats, police, courts and military — all unelected — really ran the show and who held political power didn’t matter much. The system wasn’t perfect enough for me. Now, I’m more willing to exercise what little power I have in what’s likely to be the best system I’ll ever live within.
I think non-voters are wrong in the notion that “they” will try to entice you into the ranks of voters. Those in power are benefitted by low voter turnout — particularly in FPTP. If a candidate or party can get a relatively small but dedicated following that can be counted upon to vote, they can win. If only 60% vote in a 3 way race, the number of votes needed to be FPTP is quite tiny. Those in power know very well that many of the non-voters are disgruntled and would not likely support the status quo. Who needs ‘em? They only dilute the electorate and make it tougher to be FPTP.
Yeow! I sure can get to blatherin’.