Go Ahead: Throw Your Vote Away
Throw your vote away. I did for years. I used to think my vote carried some value. Then I read this statement by Prime Minister Jean Cretien in the Times Colonist one day: "There, it's that so-called sharing of power, sometimes it is useful, where in Canada, I don't share power. I am in power." (Jean Cretien)
"I am in power"??? Sounds a little too much like a banana republic to me. Chilling words indeed, but certainly very true. We have no balance of power in Canada. The prime minister is the end-all-be-all. Currently, the Conservatives are having a heyday with Mr. Ignatieff's statement that "nobody speaks for the Liberal party but me". But the fact of the matter is the same thing applies to Mr. Harper. He is just the current dictator that Mr. Ignatieff wants to be.
Recently I heard Mr. Harper refer to one of his candidates for MP as "that guy". He said he didn't know much about him. Of course he doesn't. The MP's are just poker chips to be used to acquire a majority in the house, at which point party discipline takes over -- voters be damned -- and the Prime Minister rams through pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants. As Cretien said: I am in power.
I find it interesting, no, disconcerting, that Mr. Harper thinks we have the right to go over to the Middle East and pound the tyrants over there with munitions from the sky until they give in, while we here in Canada are scarcely one better than they are! We have our two dictators -- one Liberal, the other Conservative, and we oscillate between one and the other when we get tired of one or the other. It's nothing short of insanity, and a bit self righteous to say the least. Not only that, but it seems a bit hypocritical when you consider that we ourselves have at the head our own country, a Viceroy, and have had for 61 years this same queen whom we did not elect! Sure she doesn't do much, but she is still the "Queen of Canada". I have to ask: why?
Wake up Canada. It's 2013! We don't need the queen anymore! And even though our chosen dictator doesn't really do anything, her subordinate prime minister is certainly "in power", and not that does not make me feel a whole lot better.
In short, if you're still going to vote for one of the major parties, I would recommend you stop thinking of your vote as a vote and start thinking of it as a coupon instead, complete with expiry date. This more aptly describes what is happening with your vote. Because as soon as the election is over and the party elected, you might as well not exist. This was proven recently in our beloved province of BC, where 85% of the electorate voted down the HST in a petition, but the government proceeded full steam ahead anyway. Of course that is a provincial example, but are the feds any different?
The only way your vote could have any longevity is to to vote Independent. The Independent candidate has no strings attached and no real platform to speak of. The platorm is what you wish it to be, now and in the future. The independent's door is always open to you, not closed like the door of the big party politician who meets in the back room with party officials to study the laminated talking points they want them to parrot to the electorate.
Finally, consider this: If you vote John Duncan in again, nobody will notice. If you vote one of the other candidates in and upset the cabinet minister, a few might notice. But if the people of Vancouver Island North install an independent candidate, everyone will notice, it will make national news and will go down in the history books.