voice


So, apparently a new Conservative government was just elected in Canada and I have been reading a lot of my friend’s posts on Facebook and some random people on twitter and there is a great deal of dismay it seems regarding this fact.  While I was never a fan of the Conservative party myself it appears that once again the reason that they were voted in was not that they won the majority vote but that the majority of the people who went out and actually voted cast their votes for them.  Now, I am not what you would call a politically aware person and in general I find that the whole political machine as is stands to be one of the edifices that humanity has erected that would cause other enlightened life forms that may be out there to do a face palm before nuking us into oblivion.  That being said, I always vote.  I have lived in two democratic countries now, first Canada and now the United States of America and in both countries it is a widely held belief that at least one of the reasons that it is a good thing to live in either is that the people have a voice in how they are governed.  There of course is a great deal of debate about how loud that voice really is, but fundamentally it is there.  The thing that saddens me the most is that the majority of those who could speak choose not to, they voluntarily surrender their voice and that is so wrong.  There are so many in this world who have no voice, have it taken away from them, more in fact than there are people with a strong voice and yet in the countries whose very foundations both lie in the desire for the people to be able to speak for themselves this gift is squandered or cast aside.  There are people every day who die wanting to speak, who are willing to be silent forever in the most fundamental way so that someone they may not know might someday be able to speak while every day we take this idea for granted.  That is an offense in my mind so obscene as to warrant some kind of divine censure.

I am not saying that if everybody had turned out to vote that the Liberals would have won.  That’s not the point.  If everyone had turned out to vote at least the government that was elected would be one actually of the people.  When Barack Obama was elected one of the comments that was made was that a record number had turned out to vote, but it was still a number that was a little over half of the eligible electorate.  This is not right.  In the grand scheme of things, I do realize that the average citizen in many ways cannot make an overwhelming difference as far as government is concerned, but it is the ability to be heard at all that is so vitally important.  We cannot take for granted what means so very much in such a tawdry fashion.  I am not well informed, I will freely admit this and I expend very little effort along those lines which I do think is a flaw in my character, but no matter how apathetic I may be as far as being politically or socially aware I will never, ever take for granted my ability to let myself be heard, for those times when I truly have something to say I will say something in the mean time.  I hear so many people make the argument that it wont make any difference so why bother in the first place.  The thing is, if you take action, something might happen but it most certainly fucking wont if you do nothing.  Yes, it may not be instantaneous but if enough people keep shouting the same thing over and over again somebody at some point will do something just to shut them up.

In the end, I guess what I really want to say is that any time we are given an opportunity to speak we should, because there are so many who can’t, because there were so many in our own past who wanted to make sure that we could.  Even if in the end it doesn’t matter at least something was said.  Silence profits no one at all, so the next time you have the ability to do so, stand up and say something.  Vote, and let your voice sound out.  Thank you for listening.

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4 Responses to “voice”

  1. I think the major dismay is more confusion. Everyone I know who voted voted NDP this year and yes it was a huge year for them being the official opposition but I don’t know anyone who voted Conservative and they still have majority government. Sometimes I look and shrug other times I wonder why anyone bothers. It has to be all these old folks who never leave their old age homes who vote because its something to do that sways the vote so much cause I know the youth pop didn’t vote for conservative.

  2. Ann Kristoff Says:

    Well said. Unfortunately, the way the system is set up, you only have to get 30 percent of the vote in order to get a majority, as each riding has a certain number of seats. That’s why the ones running for office focus on the areas with the most seats to give their speeches. That’s why Harper made 3 visits to Elizabeth May’s riding(the leader of the Green Party) as she was leading and luckily she won her first seat in the House of Commons. The NDP is now the opposition, which I think is one plus. It would be great if we actually had a system based on representation by population and each vote counted.

  3. blackwatertown Says:

    Hear hear.
    It’s the threat of being voted out that keeps politicians honest… er, as honest as they are… Well, that and the police.

  4. I agree that people should get out and vote, whatever age they may be. If one does not vote, one has no right to complain about the government. I happen to like complaining. God knows our governments over the past several decades have given us lots of reason for it.

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