Friday, November 28, 2008

Problems With Voting Every Other Month

You know what? I hate interjecting politics of any kind on the blog or in any of my web projects... but I just have to ask for your indulgence just this once... please? I promise I will never bring politics up again... intentionally. We cool? OK. Here We Go...

Another comment on a Montreal Gazette article... this time regarding an 18-year-old college student running for a seat in the Quebec provincial election. The article itself is nothing special, but there's only a couple comments I'd like to comment on, particularly on a couple quotes from the PQ candidate Daniella Johnson-Meneghin, who is surprisingly shocked by the lack of enthusiasm in the current Quebec election. As is the norm, text from the source article are in italics.

"Look at me, look what I'm doing. I'm running for the experience, and to inspire young people."

Yeah, that's nice, dear. It's always good to encourage these young teenagers to use their newfound ability to vote for one of three different flavors of Quebec separatists. Excellent goal indeed.

Though this is the sixth federal, provincial or municipal vote in Montreal in five years - the first-time candidate says she's shocked by the lack of interest.

O RLY?... I don't have a fucking owl, let's move on.

"Is it that much of a burden to go to vote?" she asks the cynics.

One of the cynics - the one writing this very blog - replies with a bewildered tone, "Um... for the second time in two months? Um, er... YES"

"There are so many countries that would wish to have democracies like ours," Johnson-Meneghini tells them. "And we complain about that?"

Yes, they would be happy to have democracies like ours... but they'd be better off having democracies like the Americans, who only have two significant parties and as such only have elections every four years... much better system overall and also more consistant.

The article does make a note that Johnson-Meneghini's motherland of Argentina makes voting a compulsary passage... which means that their system is more stable and most people who don't have a viable choice to vote for usually spoil their vote - another equally powerful message to the candidates.

Of course, the plucky candidate points out some significant results that voting will get you.

"Look at the ADQ; nobody ever thought they would end up with 41 seats (in the last election)."

And after this election, the ADQ will be lucky enough to hold on to one seat, if any.

"And look at (U.S. President-elect) Barack Obama."

Yes... let's look at the half-black president elect who had TWO YEARS to campaign for one election... and who had the incredible advantage of not being in the same political party as BUSH.

"This is change that nobody thought would happen, but did because people went out to vote and they changed history."

Yes, you have presented a couple examples. Now let me present my own example... a little federal election that we had back in October of this year. What happened? NOTHING. We went in with a minority Harper government and we went out with a minority Harper government. No history changed there, huh?! And you're wondering why people are fed up with another fucking election! There's no motive behind these elections other than to cash in on some high approval ratings so that the present minority government could somehow sucker enough voters to give them a majority government so that they can do whatever the fuck they want without the threat of the opposition parties taking them down with a no-confidence vote and forcing everyone to vote again.

Sorry about the run-on. It's just too damn frustrating to think about these things.

Let me be clear on this. I like the democratic process. I like the fact that we have this hard-fought ability to vote for our leaders. Our ancestors who have fought and died for this freedom would not want us to take this right for granted.

It sucks that less people are showing up to polls to vote than ever... on the other hand, it sucks that these elections are no longer about choosing a leader and direction in government, but rather a matter of whether the current leader (or new leader) gets a majority government or not. There's nothing historic about that.

The only historical footnote in the recent federal election was that Harper had headed the longest running minority government ever, according to fact checkers. So what?

The only historical footnote in this provincial election is that there's a woman involved... a woman who is partly responsible for the lack of doctors in Quebec. Oh yeah, shit like that is definitely worthy of an Obama comparison.

And you know what the truly sad thing about all this? With all the shit going on in Ottawa, I wouldn't be surprised that we'd get ANOTHER federal election in a couple months time. So we have an economic crisis on our hands, lots of people are worried about their savings and stuff, but apparently there's enough money to throw ANOTHER FUCKING FEDERAL ELECTION JUST A SHORT TIME AFTER WE JUST FUCKING HAD A FUCKING FEDERAL ELECTION! THAT BULLSHIT IS MORE WORTHY OF A BUSH COMPARISON THAN ANYTHING ELSE!

But I digress... let's move on.

The rest of article just details a bit of background on Johnson-Meneghini before touching upon her new party's "evil" goal.

And when the nagging question of the PQ's commitment to separating Quebec from the rest of Canada comes up she tries to calm their concerns.

"(PQ leader) Pauline Marois doesn't want to hold a referendum," Johnson-Meneghini tells voters, asking them to "look beyond the sovereignty issue."

Sorry, kid. But a vote for PQ is a vote for separatism. Not gonna happen.

And that's about it, really. I hope you've all enjoyed my explosion into politics. I'll probably mention the election madness somewhere down the line... after that, that's it.

There are times where I almost wish I was American...

I said "almost."

(2019 Update: Daniella Johnson-Meneghin is still in politics as a member of Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante's cabinet. Well, she's doing well for herself, at least. Kudos.)

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