By Jay Menard,
This isn’t going to be a blog telling you for whom you should vote.
In fact, if you read someone presenting a list of “who you should vote for” — especially if he or she is advocating outside of their Ward — I’d take that with a very large grain of salt and ask yourself, “In whose interests is this list truly made for?”
Chances are those interests aren’t yours.
It’s not even a post suggesting that you should vote (I’ve talked about my feelings on that for years).
No, for this post I just want to share my process. And encourage you, if you choose to vote, to consider the same factors when you cast your ballot.
Ultimately, I hope you ignore the advocates and those pushing a cause or a “side.” Instead, just focus on your needs, who you feel best represents your ward, and who has a platform and ideas that align with what you want. Remember, you are giving your “voice” to someone to use (hopefully with ongoing interaction — but that’s rarely the case), so make sure you choose someone worthy of that responsibility. Continue reading
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
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
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
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