Exercising democratic choices

2006-01-09

in Canada, Politics

Milan Ilnyckyj with flag, back in Fairview. Photo credit: Meghan Mathieson

I received my absentee ballot this morning, while I was on my way to give Kelly and one of her sisters a quick peek into the Codrington Library. The electoral calculation for me is ridiculously simple. Only two parties have the slightest chance of winning in North Vancouver: the Liberals, with former mayor Don Bell as their candidate, and the Conservatives, with Cindy Silver as their candidate. Between the two parties, I have a strong preference to the Liberals, based heavily on their social policies. While a degree of corruption and the complacency of a long period in power are bad things, they are not the worst of things.

Since the ballot must be received by 6:00pm Ottawa time on election day, I dropped it into the postbox on my way to the Social Sciences Library to study for the statistics test. For any other Canadians in Oxford, or elsewhere abroad, planning to vote (and you really should, democratic participation is important): time is extremely short for requesting and returning a ballot. If you haven’t already done so, fax off your ballot request right now.

Incidentally, every time I have voted in a federal election, it has been from outside Canada. I last voted for Don Bell from the Vatican. I had more faith in timely delivery by their postal system than the Italian one.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan January 9, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Coverage on Tristan, Spencer, and Tim‘s blogs was helpful for deciding how to vote.

Milan January 9, 2006 at 12:18 pm

Oh, and one comment from my friend and first-ever debating partner: Greg Allen.

B January 9, 2006 at 1:14 pm
Milan January 9, 2006 at 1:21 pm

Neither does the UBC election stockmarket, which is a clever idea, incidentally.

Here’s a brief side-by-side summary of the party platforms from The Globe and Mail.

Some of the Green Party stuff does look pretty good, but given that they are unlikely to win a single seat, the smart move seems to be voting Liberal.

Anonymous January 9, 2006 at 1:44 pm

Whatever you do, don’t eat your ballot in protest:

“Eating a ballot, not returning it or otherwise destroying or defacing it constitutes a serious breach of the Canada Elections Act.”

R.K. January 9, 2006 at 1:55 pm

“[Y]ou really should [vote], democratic participation is important.”

In 2000, only 25% of young people 18-24 voted. In 2004, this increased to 38%, but this is still far below other age groups.

Come on, people.

Meghan January 11, 2006 at 5:19 pm

I agree with you that the Green Party looks good but is unlikely to win any seats… however, saying – “I’m not going to vote Green because they won’t win” is pretty much the same thing as saying “Green won’t win because no one will vote for them” Why does no one vote for them… because they won’t win. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy (that I’ve over simplified enormously).

On another note, I thought you were posting photos that you had taken on this blog? Do you remember when today’s photo was taken?

Milan January 11, 2006 at 5:23 pm

Meghan,

Firstly, about the Green Party. This is one reason Canada could stand some proportional representation, perhaps in an elected Senate. A partly like the Greens, that won’t get more than 20% of the vote any time soon, if even that, is very unlikely to win in a first past the post system. To vote for them in North Vancouver would effectively be to vote Conservative. I wish that wasn’t the way, but the electoral system makes that the reality.

This photo is an exception from the normal photographic protocol. It’s not a Photo of the Day, but rather a photo within a topic post (like the wombat on skis). You took it, after our winter camping expedition with Tristan and Christina. It seemed to strike the right patriotic chord.

Milan January 21, 2006 at 5:58 pm

There are more electorally related posts on the blog:

Canadians go to the polls on Monday (Jan 20)

On the state of Canada’s armed forces (Jan 17)

On the possibility of a Harper government (Jan 15)

Milan January 23, 2006 at 5:33 pm

Election day (Jan 23)

Electoral calculus (Jan 21)

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