Another election has come and gone, and, again, with disappointingly-low voter turnout.
People have their own perspectives, of course, on why they don’t vote. There are some good reasons, but mostly not. There’s the easy cop-out about “It’s just one vote, and it doesn’t really matter” but whose vote counts more? Then there’s the lazy, complacent “They’re all the same, so what’s the point?” which is generally just code for “I can’t be bothered to pay attention.”
But the grand prize goes to the one about “not having any real choice,” or “I don’t like any of them, so until there’s a none of the above option, I’m staying home.” (This often leads to the equally inane “Just spoil your ballot!”)
This is entitlement talking, the plaintive whine of the privileged princess, and one wonders just who it is imagined will receive this message, and do… what, exactly? Well, “the politicians,” of course!
But “the politicians” are already out there, running for office or working on campaigns, and between elections working in the ridings to keep the lights on. They’re already doing their bit at great effort to give you a choice.
Whether or not you like the choices doesn’t mean you don’t have one.
It’s not up to “the politicians” or anyone else to ensure that you have a choice that you like. It’s only up to them to offer a choice that they like, and they’re already doing that.
The none-of-the-above crowd also propose that if its option “won,” it should trigger a new election with “all-of-the-above” prohibited from running. Here we see the princess in grand, imperious form, with an airy wave signaling her courtiers to bring forth a fresh assortment that she might deign choose.
Kudos, rather, for whomever did run. Standing for public office is important, worthwhile, and hard, and should be respected for that at the very least, not disdainfully cast aside simply because some voters didn’t like the menu. Let those voters step-up next time, and take their own lumps.
It’s not for everyone, perhaps, but, strictly speaking, any voter (with very few exceptions) can stand for office.
And you don’t have to bear the banner of a mainstream party to do so; you can run as an independent, or under one of the numerous, small, kiosk parties — and then you can offer any varied viewpoint your heart desires.
So, next election, please, the responsibility is yours: If you don’t like the choices it’s up to you to either improve upon them or make the best of what’s there.
Either way, give it your best shot and vote.