Friday, April 22, 2011
For once I find myself envious of the United States. Perhaps not for the obvious reasons, whatever they may be- ask an American and they will give you a long list of why the world should envy them, but for the electoral process that allows them to vote directly for their federal leader; AKA the President.
North of the border we continue to follow our 'Old Country' ways and vote for our local representatives, tabulate local results and in that way determine the leader of the country according to a system that allows national leaders to be made of men who receive far less than 50 percent of the popular vote. Canadians claim to be revered for their democratic idealism, shipping soldiers overseas to fight for and promote this ideal and even going so far as to allow free air time to the Marxist/Leninist Party of Canada. But I am left with an impossible decision for this election due to the Canadian form of democracy.
There are two federal parties that I would consider 'right up my alley'. I think I was even a card carrying member of one of them in my university days. I worked on the election campaign for said party as a high school student and have always voted for them except when Mel Hertig offered an interesting alternative in the short lived National Party of Canada in the 1993 federal election.
My dilemma comes from too much knowledge. Is that possible? I have interviewed each of my local candidates for the local paper and know that although the national leaders float my boat my choices down home do not. When I interviewed the candidates I got idiotic statements, old school statements and statements of complete ignorance of the issues. One candidate asked me what the issues were in the riding. According to the much toted vote compass being pitched by the national broadcaster, CBC, I should be voting for this guy, but I can't, no matter how much I like his leader and his party's national platform. Therein lies the problem.
Today is the first day which Canadians are able to vote in this federal election. I have been struggling with this dissonance between the federal platforms and the local candidates. I have made my decision but it is not the one I wanted to make. I don't care for the federal leader or their national platform but it won't kill me to cast this vote and my artistic license won't be taken away for voting for the dark side.