Such a lot of talk about elections these days. Politicians posturing left and right. Michael Ignatieff suddenly getting all antsy. I should, I suppose, be gearing up to exercise my sacred right to cast a vote. And I would if it would make any difference, but it won't, so I'm not.
I vote in Calgary Centre. Lee Richardson, the Conservative candidate, will win this constituency. He will win with 15-20,000 votes over his nearest opponent. My vote will make absolutely no difference, not in my constituency, not in the overall result of the election. Not one whit. My vote simply won't count. It would if we had a proportional representation voting system. Then it would help elect an MP for the party I support. It would count the same as each and every other voter's. But we don't, and it won't.
I have debated this with a good friend of mine who has seen no point in this futile exercise for some time. I have insisted, with decreasing conviction, that he should vote because after all we are lucky to live in a democracy. I'm afraid this time the conviction has faded away, not enough left to even convince myself to vote.
Democracy is political equality manifested in one citizen/one vote. But when your one vote doesn't count, where's the democracy for you? You've been hustled. I accept my democratic responsibility to attempt to change the system if I don't agree with it. I support Fair Vote Canada, and I pressure my elected representatives to support proportional representation, but progress is glacial. So I've decided not on a protest vote, but on a protest non-vote. Perhaps if enough of those electors whose votes are rendered irrelevant by our corrupt first-past-the-post system stop co-operating with the system, our legislators will take notice and fit democracy into their agendas.
I will continue to vote municipally and provincially. My ward and provincial constituencies are sufficiently competitive that my vote matters. But the idea of voting in the next federal election increasingly makes me feel like I'm participating in a charade, a democratic fraud. So I will not waste my time.