People in Ontario aren’t high on voting. Ok, in light of the Ford stuff they might be high while voting, but that’s a different issue. If the 25-year downward trend in voter turnout continues, barely more than 40% of eligible voters will cast a ballot in this Thursday’s provincial election. That’s bad. It means that 25% of eligible voters can constitute a majority of votes cast in the election. Think about four people—chances are one of them is dumb. Well, if that’s the person who votes, Ontario might as well uproot and move to another province because…right, that’s not possible. If the dumb people decide this election, Ontario is stuck—and screwed. We can’t let that happen. It’s about time that someone appeals to you, the smart voter, to get out and cast your ballot.
To that end, here are some great ideas to arouse your interest in the democratic process:
Declining Your Ballot
Some genius thought it up when he was deciding how to make people want to stay home on election day. Here’s how it works…if you can’t stand every candidate on the ballot (or more likely can’t stand taking the time to learn about every candidate on the ballot), you can still go to the polling station, receive a ballot, then hand it back. Think of it as voting with attitude. You have the pleasure of getting up off the couch, walking to the polling station, waiting while the clerk checks your identification and finds a problem, filling out a form to resolve the problem, receiving your ballot, holding it for a split second, then saying “no thanks, I decline”. How liberating! Instead of doing something you enjoy, you get to take time out of your day to go down to the polls and participate in a formality of democracy. Instead of expressing your disgust by doing something you enjoy, you get to express your disgust by doing something that disgusts you. It’s perfect.
If you’re feeling vengeful and seeking power, someone will undoubtedly try to convince you to vote for the least-bad party that has the second-to-best chance of winning. Some call this process “strategic voting”. Others call it “holding your nose”. The remainders call it “stupid”. It’s akin to saying, “I hate this party so much that I’m going to vote for the party that I hated last time when we voted them out and I voted for these guys I hate now…because we need some real change around here!” This strategy is equally appealing for non-voters who want to put someone in power as it is to non-voters who want to keep someone out of power. Does it work for you?
Actually Paying Attention and Making an Informed Decision
This is easily the least appealing option for the majority of non-voters because it requires some work and forces the non-voter to engage in the system. If you’re still reading, it means you aren’t disgusted enough to quit already, so this might work. Try it. You might find that there are a few decent people with bright ideas working in politics. These people crave your support, so they will pay attention to you. But here’s the best part: by voting for these people, you are really sticking it to the Liberals, PCs, and New Democrats. Those three parties want you to believe that they are your only options, because that’s how they trick you into voting for them. By refusing to be fooled, you not only empower yourself, you outsmart them. You always knew you were smarter than (whichever one you hate most)! Doesn’t it feel good to prove it?
Hopefully you realize there are several ways to flex your democratic muscles. So go ahead- get out there and show the world how strong you are! Just remember that this is the world of politics, so the most muscular citizens are usually the most plain and flabby, and flexing actually means making a mark inside a circle.
Do you like when people vote? Consider donating to our crowdfunding campaign to support combating youth apathy.