Yesterday on Facebook I said that I wouldn’t tell people to vote in the 2014 Ontario Election. It was up to them. The reason is because the Diddy style “VOTE OR DIE” rhetoric does absolutely nothing to influence someone disenchanted with the current political climate to make them feel their vote counts. Looking at the poll numbers it seems I’m correct.
According to Steve Paikin, about 19% of voters gave the Ontario Liberals 100% of the power because voter turnout was at 51.7%. We’re not doing enough to convince people they should vote. Then again, we hardly ever have.
The biggest reason I don’t tell people to vote is because out of the 51.7% that do vote, they usually do it on sport team affiliation (you know how a Leaf fan explains they will never stop being a Toronto fan out of loyalty? The same goes with many PC/Liberal/NDP voters. They care less about policy and more about what feels like their team), caring about the few major issues they do understand, or vote out of spite. It’s time we stop thinking we’re such a smart society because we own a smartphone and start paying attention to our governments full-time. That’s what will change them. Not writing “None of the Above” on your ballot. Not announcing you’re moving out of Ontario. And certainly not telling people you should vote for a party or else your business will suffer.
Government is only for the people when the people pay attention to it. Your duty as an Ontario citizen didn’t end June 12, 2014. It continues each day. Educate yourself. Do not read one newspaper or website to get your political facts. Recognize that cynicism over your system is only going to get a government that pays attention to those that yell at them. And you’re not yelling at them. You’re yelling at Facebook.
Every day there’s a person who complains about how they are smarter than people who are ahead of them. They wonder why these stupid people got into management or became politicians. It’s because they didn’t get cynical. They fought every day for things you felt were meaningless and now they sit in positions deciding your fate. They may not be smart but they cared a lot more than you did. And now they decide the things you care for. Funny how that works.
But the main purpose of this is to remind you that just because a person voted, that doesn’t mean they have some get free card to complain about their government. People complain all the time about governments they can’t vote for, let alone ones they get to. If all you do is vote, you’re just as worthless as the person who didn’t. Governments need to be pushed and prodded every day. You need to be your own lobbyist group. Your job is not done. One day of being proactive over zero is only one day over zero. It’s having a dollar over nothing. You’re a lot closer to broke than you are rich.
Educate yourself and be proactive. Otherwise, those “stupid people running the parties that are all the same” will continue to be stupid people running parties that are all the same. Because they have spent their lives to be stupid people running those parties. You spent one day at a poll. You’re just a stupid person running nothing.
Before you ask, this is a message to myself as well.