Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Little Bit O'Politics

Ok, so it’s been awhile since I last posted. This is due to a combination of factors. Most of them are related to general laziness and a severe lack of inspiration. So we’ll just leave it at that…my apologies.

Hubby and I have been talking politics a lot lately, as this big election is coming up. This is truly one of the only times that I feel that I don’t have any choice. Going in to the poll, I think I will still not have a clear idea of who I will vote for, and that is a little bit sad, to be honest.

First, let me start off by saying that my vote probably doesn’t matter at all. I live in Stephen Harper’s riding. In a city that has not elected a different party since who knows when. In fact, Calgary is such a sure bet, that virtually none of the leaders chose to campaign here at all (cowboy hats off to the Green Party’s  Elizabeth May for actually caring enough to stop in and say hi). How pathetic is that? Candidates are not showing up to community debates in the ridings. There are barely even any election signs out. To be honest, I didn’t even know the name of the candidates in my riding (besides Mr. Harper, of course) until today. And I found them out through a daily newspaper running articles on each of the ridings. Pathetic! Just pathetic!

In a time when the country is in a fuss about low voter turnout, voter apathy, and “every vote counts” I truly feel that mine does not. In fact, my vote matters so little that I don’t even know who my choices are. When I did find out who I could opt for, I was even more discouraged.

We live in a country where you are supposed to vote for your representative, not the leader of the party. But what if I don’t want to vote for ANY of my representatives? Here are my options:

NDP: Actually, this is the best option out of the bunch. Her experience seems very relevant, she’s experienced, and she seems to have a good idea of what are the key issues in my riding.

Green: His blurb sort of lost me when he stated legalizing cannabis was a big issue in my riding. Really? I’m all for open debate on this issue, but is this really a key election issue for suburban Calgary? I think not…Other issues included the incredibly vague “economy and health care”. Sigh.

Liberal: Ok, I give you the fact that this lady has experience. But she’s 76 years old. I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but when she stated senior’s issues as one of the biggest issues in my riding, she loses me there. Yes, I agree that we need to address these issues, but I somehow feel that she doesn’t have a very good pulse on my demographic. At all. Also, she stated she’s not really in favour of income splitting, as it’s no use to single parents or seniors. However, it’s of huge use to me and my family…so once again, not feeling the love. What about us middle-aged family people?

Independent: Oh man, don’t get me started. I couldn’t think of a candidate who could alienate me more than this one did with the following statement: “The biggest issue in our riding is restoring the Supremacy of God back into the running of our country, therefore defending the unborn children’s right to life.” SERIOUSLY?! Oh come on, you have got to be kidding me! The biggest issue in our riding is the amount of abortions people are getting?!?!  Needless to say, he does NOT get my vote.

Conservative: Stephen Harper. I am sure you are all familiar with him. Actually, the article said he was unavailable for comment. Guess he was "busy" with "other things". Pffft. 

(info from Metro News, Calgary)

So, putting parties aside, I suppose my best option is voting NDP. However, if we were voting for the party itself, I would not vote NDP. So, now what? And after all this agonizing and deciding, I will go in and vote, and it will not even matter that I did in the first place. Stephen Harper will win my riding by a  landslide, and I will sit back and wait to find out what the rest of Canada got to decide.

Why is it so hard to have a party that fully represents me, and candidates who fully represent their parties? Where is that party, or that leader that gets me excited about politics and wanting to vote? It seems that so many Canadians end up voting for “the lesser of the evils”. They don’t want to vote for ANY party. No wonder voter apathy is on the rise. No wonder the youth could care less about voting. There is nothing to get excited about! And even if I am interested, the options I have make me want to stay home on election day.

It was really exciting and inspirational to be in Calgary for the last municipal election. The candidates were enigmatic, they were vocal, and they ran an exciting campaign. Calgary broke out of its predictable routine and elected a young, vibrant, personable mayor with (in my opinion) great vision and ambition. While I would like to believe that this momentum will carry over into the federal election, I just don’t see it happening. I would love for one riding to shake things up and prove to the parties that they can’t just overlook Calgary and take our votes for granted, but I just don’t see that happening.

I have pretty strong views about social issues, and am usually rather firmly content with where I stand politically. This election has called that into question, for a variety of reasons. So I truly do not know what I will do on May 2. What’s a young voting Canadian in a pre-determined riding to do?


  1. AmyD, since I've already been mercilessly ripped at work for getting caught reading a blog about pregnancy, let me offer you 3 bits of political advice... since i'm in Ottawa and cannot escape the damn stuff.

    1. Voting for a particular candidate (versus voting for a party) is a useless gesture in most cases, unless your candidate has some important, policy-setting role in the government (so lucky you!). This is because our system is busted and the parties generally just "whip" the vote and force all their members to vote the same on important issues... so a vote for your experienced and tuned-in NDP candidate will in practice be a vote for whatever boondoggle political mess the NDP gets into in Ottawa.

    2. Your vote is worth almost TWO whole dollars! This may just be the most democratic thing about our country. Support the party you want to with this money and feel warm and fuzzy about them using your tax dollars to donate for you.

    3. Don't worry too much about your political plight in this federal election and get psyched for the coming provincial one. It's looking like the type of one-in-thirty-years election in which voters like us can actually have some effect on things in Alberta.

    Good blog. ;)

    Matt T

  2. Hey Amy! Congratulations on being nominated for your blog! Yippee! You're in the lead!

  3. Matt: I totally agree with you. Also, thanks for braving the ridicule and stigma of reading preggo blogs, you brave soul. I also appreciate your opinion regardless of the obvious personal investment you have in one of my riding's candidates... :)

    The donation-per-vote thing is actually the only reason I continue to vote in federal elections (besides the whole civic duty blah blah). It's awesome to know that I am not actually throwing away my vote, and that it is being used to some half-decent end (in theory). It has given me a small sense of satisfaction that I can help the little party I support out.

    And you are right about the provincial election. However, it's still a bit annoying to be sort of left out of the whole election hoop-la. And a bit insulting that the candidates in my riding are sort of like an inside joke. But it truly doesn't matter when the best candidate in your riding wins with 75% of the vote anyways, I guess...

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    Taylor: Thanks a bunch! It's so exciting!

  4. Hi Amy!!

    You hit the nail on the head with the election post here. I'm just starting to look at the candidates in my riding. What a joke!

    Good luck choosing on Monday.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! They make my day!


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