Trying on tough love

At “Be The Vote” we (surprisingly) talk a lot about voting; why voting is important, why you should vote, etc, etc. But today I’d like to play devil’s advocate and offer an alternative perspective: Don’t vote. Don’t do it. It’s not a big deal. How you vote will not make your life tomorrow any different from what it is today.

Sure, the policies and positions of the political party that wins the next election could change much of Canada, but that's a hard thing to measure, so I suggest you ignore that.

It’s bizarre when you think about it. Once every 4-ish years, the country goes nuts about lining up in school gyms and churches to fill in a little box on a paper thing, stick that paper thing inside a bigger cardboard thing, and then count up the boxes that people scribbled in.

People get excited about this, though the lines are not fun. Sometimes it’s like, half an hour before you can finally go home. I guarantee that you could be having more fun doing something that isn’t standing in a line or filling in a box.

Think about all the other things you could be doing that aren’t standing in a line! Stuff like....

Make cookies!

Re-watch the first X-Men movie!


That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Not voting will improve your life in so many ways. If you will, imagine two different scenarios. On one hand, you’ve gotten together with bunch of your friends to go out and vote. On the other, you played it cool by staying home.

Imagine now that it’s election night. The results are coming in. “Voter You” looks on at the results, after participating in a nationwide and historic event. You feel.... Pride. Comradery. You were there.

You took part in something greater than yourself or your friends, and the outcome of this will affect you all ways both obvious and unseen. Where your electricity comes from. How your younger cousins and siblings are educated. The line between your privacy and matters of national security.

The other you (the Cool You), watches the results with satisfaction. You don’t entirely know what’s going on, and that’s fine. No line standing for this guy! And the decision to re-watch X-Men has given you a new appreciation for Ian McKellan’s portrayal of Magneto. Election shma-election! What does it matter? Tomorrow will be the same as today. Cool You goes to sleep and sure enough, tomorrow things are the same.

We’re going to ignore Voter You from now on, because I trust you’ve made the right decision.

A year later you, the cool person that you are, sees that the stupid government has passed a piece of stupid. You can’t believe why they think this would be a good idea... But after grumbling for a while, you calm and get on with your life. What can you do about it? What could you have done about it?

Nothing, is the answer, my cool friend. Nothing at that point, at least. Maybe early on, with those lines during the election, but they weren’t worth your time. Not as much as Ian Mckellan is, at any rate.

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