If you’ve read my blog, even for a few months, you know I lean left ideologically. This isn’t going to be about whom to vote for but how to make up your mind.
Where and what do I need to vote?
Let’s start at the basics. To find your riding go to Elections Canada. All you need to find your riding, who’s running, and where to vote, is your postal code.
As for what you need, here’s what Elections Canada says:
You must prove your identity and address to register and vote in a federal election. Here are your ID options when you are voting in person – at an Elections Canada office, at advance polls or on election day.
In other words, you need a piece of ID with your address on it and your face. If you don’t have that, you need two forms of ID.
Check out this nifty infographic:
How do I know who I agree with?
You are going to hear all kinds of things. One candidate will say the other likes stealing monkeys, and the other will say he doesn’t steal monkeys but that the first is anti-monkey… etc etc. Ad Nauseum!
Political ads do nothing to give you information, especially honest information.
Don’t fret, there are tools out there that can help.
The CBC’s Vote Compass will ask you all your opinions and tell you what most matches the current platforms of the major parties.
If you’re willing to put in the time, all the major parties have their platforms on their websites. They are filled with propaganda, but they give you an ok idea.
The Maclean’s Leaders debate was mildly enlightening and is available on youtube.
Last but not least, talk to your friends and family. They will have something to say. I promise.
What about strategic voting?
Although I see the appeal, it goes fundamentally against what I believe in. People should vote FOR something not AGAINST something. Read more about why I LOATH strategic voting.
Not to mention that it’s both ineffective if most people don’t vote and easily manipulated. Search around enough and you’ll start to see that each strategic voting site has a bias and that’s born of flawed methodology in their polling (if they poll at all) and the fact that they’re often funded by parties.
I’m not saying this is happening, but if I were in power and had lots of money, I’d invest into funding a strategic voting site in order to make sure the vote went my way.
Vote with your heart!
My vote doesn’t matter so why even do it?
Let’s look at numbers. The current government has a majority, which means they were elected in more than half of the ridings in Canada.
A total of 61.1% of eligible voters actually voted and the ruling party received 39.62% of the total vote.
So the ruling party got 39.62% of 61.1%… or 24.2% of the eligible voters.
The difference between the ruling party and second place was 8.9% of the vote. So our ruling party won by a margin of 5.4%.
To put this into perspective… if half the people who chose not to vote had voted for an imaginary party they would have gotten second place in total votes.
These people represent you, whether you like it or not. If you don’t vote, you give to power to those that do.
By not voting, that 38.9% in the last election made everyone else’s vote count for 38.9% more.
This is your country, make a difference, make a choice, and let your voice be heard.
On Monday October 19th, please go out and vote!