Monday, May 02, 2011

The Throw Away Vote

I am actually very offended by the concept of the throw away vote - that somehow in this democratic country, expressing your view on election day however it is that you do it could be 'throwing your vote away'. Nonsense. I think the real ideal is if everyone voted. If everyone did, I think we would have a very different government.

I suppose in the very old days when there were only two parties, things were simpler. There was always a clear majority. With the arrival of the NDP, that ended that. And now there is the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party as well. I think the expanding list of political parties more accurately reflect the variety of points of view in our country. I don't actually think there is anything wrong with a minority government. What I do think there is something wrong with is a group of adults (mostly men) who can't manage to work together effectively - who are continually back stabbing each other, showing each other up, undermining each other, etc. in an effort to either stay in power or seize power. Pathetic. Really. No party has ever represented every single Canadian. Stephen Harper's less than most. Yet he persists in ramrodding neocon agendas. And of course the only reason we are having an election right now is because the NDP and the Liberals thought that with the revelation of Conservative corruption in the last election that they had a chance to grab the power. C'mon. I'm not stupid. Why did they choose now to bring the government down? There have been lots of other chances. I think its true - Canadians don't want another election. We want them to grow up and work together. At least, that's what I think.

When Dean gets home from work we will drive down to the elementary school and exercise our democratic right. I am voting Green. I am voting Green because I don't really think there is another decent choice. Conservatives think that the way to improve things is to give breaks to huge corporations which in turn, out of the goodness of their hearts will create more jobs. Despite the fact that this particular theory has been well proven to not work so well as corporations take their tax breaks and use them to set up jobs in third world countries (a move, I might add, that is rife with systemic racism as we underpay their citizens and grossly pollute their countries). Liberals in power for decades in this country - what do they really stand for anymore other than wanting to get back in power? They are responsible for the mess that is our current health care system thanks to Paul Martin. Like the Conservatives when they make cuts it is the poorest and least franchised that feel it while their friends in big business are rewarded. Then there is the NDP. I know Jack Layton knows how to scrap. What I am uncertain of is if he knows how to cooperate. They are controlled by big Unions which are not so very different than big corporations. Their stand on the environment lacks teeth and specificity. They believe in Universal Childcare but they don't support parents in looking after their own children.

I am voting Green because I think the environment is the biggest issue facing us. The dichotomy between the economy and the environment is a false one. Without an environment, there is no economy. Just ask those people in the Southern US how their economy is doing right now. But the Green Party is far from a one issue party. Elizabeth May was actually a Conservative and served in Brian Mulroney's cabinet. She believes in income splitting which would help families that have one parent staying home to look after the children. Right now my sister, Katie and her husband Brent would be better off tax-wise if they both had two crappy jobs. But because Brent works and Katie is at home, they are penalized. She also believes in supporting parents to look after their own children. I am all for supporting families where both parents want to work but I am frustrated in the systemic lack of recognition and support we give parents who want to look after their own children. Like a daycare worker is somehow more qualified than I am. There are plenty of statistics that show that children do better when a parent is home to look after them. Of course there are many factors that go into that (like socio-economic status) but it almost seems like we are pushing parents out the door to drop their kids off at daycare. We need good daycares and daycare workers should be paid better than they are AND we also need to support those parents who have the desire to be there for their own kids everyday. Its only fair. The Green Party platform is the only one that really make sense to me. It seems like common sense and listening to Elizabeth May is like a breath of fresh air - no wonder they want to keep her out of the debates! It is both fiscally and socially responsible - a balance seldom seen in Canadian politics. And she isn't afraid of taking on the real issues of our day.

And that is not throwing away my vote. That's putting my vote right where I believe it should be.

Anyways, in case you were tired of reading about lambs, there is my political rant for the year. I'll shut up now.

1 comment:

Sarah-Lynn said...

I found this to be very interesting (as I don't get all that into politics- please don't judge me) and I like you, so I like hearing your opinion. I like how you called it your obligatory political post.