Tag Archives: voting

Mandatory Voting Isn’t the Answer, Especially When Getting Educated is So Much Harder Now

By Jay Menard

More voters isn’t the answer. More educated voters is. But the fact is that it’s increasingly challenging for the average person to know what’s true and what’s just partisan spin.

Like clockwork, the idea of mandatory voting has come around again — this time with the Liberal Party has been floating a trial balloon about the concept. For mandatory voting to work, you have to incentivize the process — either positively (through tax breaks) or negatively (through threats). But what it misses is the fact that a 100 per cent voter turnout doesn’t mean anything if the vast majority are simple going through the motions.

Mandatory voting  doesn’t change the simple reality that a forced vote is not necessarily a good vote. And there can be no assurance that people who have previously not bothered to vote — for whatever reason — will suddenly take the responsibility seriously.

And it is a responsibility. Continue reading

Declining Just an Empty Protest that Won’t Move the Needle

By Jay Menard

When exactly did we determine that voting against something is better than voting for something?

Strategic voting is bad enough – the idea of compromising your beliefs in some grand effort to ensure “they” don’t get it. It’s semi-understandable when it comes to our first-past-the-post system, especially if you’re in a riding where vote-splitting may be an issue.

But this idea of “Declining your vote” as a grand statement against the political system? Sorry for being frank, but it’s egocentric and ineffective. Continue reading

Operation: Don’t Vote

By Jason Menard

There are those quick to take the “get out and vote” stand. And while this statement is often made casually — as if it’s a foregone conclusion — the fact is that voting is not a game and even a well-meant idea can have serious ramifications.

For the most part, the get out and vote movement is well-intentioned. It’s just misguided. You’ve likely heard, “It’s your civic duty…” or some permutation of that thought. But whether they’re using the term duty, obligation, moral responsibility, they’re simply wrong.

Voting is our right. Just as not voting is. Continue reading

What I Said About Joe

By Jason Menard

I’m not a rube; I’m not a patsy; nor am I ignorant. Yet you wouldn’t know that because, according to some of the self-professed arbiters of what’s right in London, because I don’t think that Mayor Joe Fontana should be forced to step down, I must be one of the aforementioned three.

It seems many in this so-called London, ON Twitterverse (and it’s orbiting social networks) can’t get the simple fact that disagreeing with the motion asking for the mayor to step down does not directly equal approval of Fontana’s behaviour or the situation the city finds itself in. Continue reading

More Info than Ever, but Who Can You Trust?

By Jason Menard

The number of TV stations, Web sites, publications, and social networking sites, can not just sate those who have a thirst for politics – it can overwhelm them. So the question now becomes, how do you filter this firehose-like deluge of information and make the best choice for you?

The Ontario provincial election is less than a month away and while it may seem that we’ve been inundated with campaign rhetoric and information, the fact is that the writ was just dropped and the campaign only officially began yesterday.  Continue reading

Fringe Candidates Foolishly Have No Door Upon Which Opportunity Can Knock

By Jason Menard

For a sub-species of people that make their living, in part, by going from door to door, it shocks me that certain politicians – including those who would benefit the most – are neglecting an opportunity that’s knocking louder than ever.

In fact, not only are they not hearing the knock – they haven’t even bothered to put up a door whatsoever. Continue reading

A Channel’s Manic Monday

By Jason Menard

What are you doing Monday night? Hopefully you’ll have already been to the polls to cast a well-informed vote. So perhaps you’d like to spend a few moments during the evening of May 2nd to check out how the election is progressing?

May I invite you to tune into London’s A-Channel. I’ve been invited by local writer and tech guru extraordinaire Carmi Levy to participate in an exciting venture in support of the local station’s coverage. Continue reading