Recently I voted in a provincial election. (Canadians who slept through civics class and everyone else who isn’t familiar with our electoral system, click here.)
I have such mixed feelings about it.
A vote is such a small thing.
The person I voted for is not going to win based on my ballot alone. And no I don’t discuss who I vote for online. Sorry 😉
That may happen occasionally in small communities but places like Toronto never count on that one last vote to sway the fates in favour of a certain candidate or issue.
If I hadn’t voted the election would still have turned out exactly like it did. A single vote cannot sway the outcome.
Why? Because women and everyone on this list were either forbidden or strongly “discouraged” from voting.
Go skim through that list. I’m having a difficult time coming up with more than a couple of people I know who don’t fit into one of those groups.
A hundred years ago women weren’t allowed to vote. Fifty years ago African Americans were routinely disenfranchised.
I’m not saying the system is perfect. Discrimination and prejudice definitely still exist. But it is a whole heck of a lot better now than it was for our grandparents.
But a hundred years, fifty years is a blink of an eye. A hundred years ago your grandparents or great-grandparents were children or young adults. Fifty years ago your parents or grandparents were kicking around even if you didn’t exist yet then.
This is where the other half of my thoughts tumble out.
How can we take these rights for granted?
Your vote is your voice. It’s one of the few times when the government (presumably) cares about what you think.
Think about screaming into the fiercest storm you’ve ever seen.
One voice scatters before the words even rumble out of your throat.
Two or three voices barely mewl.
If everyone screams, though, even the wind must listen.
These are my scattered thoughts.
I don’t care about who you vote for. In fact, I’d prefer this not turn into a debate about whose party makes the gods happier.
But I do care about whether you vote and why you’ve made that decision. Please share your stories in the comments.