I found this brilliant piece of awesomely cynical graffiti eleven years ago beside a Chinese restaurant in Guelph, Ontario.
Just like every election cycle as far back as I can remember there has been talk recently, mostly on CBCNN, about making voting mandatory. Or, at least, a consensus that those who refuse to get involved in the process should be beaten with their own shoes.
Australia has mandatory voting, but that makes sense, seeing as how they’re mostly alcoholics and real democracy takes a certain level of sobriety. Democracy doesn’t exist without the inalienable right for citizens, for whatever reason, to burn our ballots. Or stay home and play the Wendy Mesley* drinking game — when she’s on camera with Peter Mansbridge, and cringes at the memory of sleeping with him, you chug a beer. Make sure there’s a lot of beer available.
Then there’s the bizarre idea that, if someone doesn’t vote, they have no right to complain. Love to see how that could be enforced. I’ve never voted in a municipal election, but I still have the right to say my mayor is the latest in a line of idiots going back 85-years.
…he’s actually a nice guy.
I’ve been voting since 1988 when I, being eighteen-years old and unaware of the cliche, voted for whomever was representing Ed Broadbent in my riding.
I’ve spoiled one ballot, on purpose, since then. But I can’t remember which election. I do remember writing “this is a spoiled ballot” on both sides of the ballot. I even added the anarchist “A”, so I must have been in my early-20’s.
Spoiled ballots do get counted, but they’re put in the same file as the ballots that are unintentionally screwed up, and the numbers are not released. I get why they feel they can’t release the numbers, because sooner or later 51% of the returning ballots are going to have “fuck this shit” scrawled on them. And then you’ve got Belgium.
I did vote for the party whose main goal was to have 10,000 Yogic Flyers bouncing around Parliament Hill. The Natural Law Party of Canada believed the Flyers would create a bubble around Canada, sort of a shield of goodness, so we’d all be safe from the evils of the world outside.
Plus, they had Doug Henning. Seriously, how could they not win? I was living in Toronto, somewhere in Rosedale, and the party’s leader, Neil Paterson, ‘Governor-General of the Age of Enlightenment for North America’ and ‘Director of Financial Capital of Canada to Crown the Nation with Invincibility’, was running as one of my candidates.
That was the 2000 election, when the choices were Stockwell “new car smell” Day and Jean “I’m a dick” Chrétien. I’d still take 10,000 Yogic Flyers over either of those… lets go with douche bags.
Seriously, given the option, who wouldn’t?
The last few federal elections I’ve been voting against people, rather than for something. Which, other than voting because there’s a punishment if you don’t, I think is probably the worst reason to vote. But I’ve had a hate-on for ‘those people’ since 1997, so… once more into the voting booth.
…there are two doors, one’s blue and one’s orange. But there’s also the Wendy Mesley drinking game, where you take a shot every time she has to be on the screen with Peter Mansbridge*. Choose wisely. Or you could get a DVR.
*Wendy is one of my favourite reporters…