Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election Day In Canada

Today is Election Day here in Canada. I have a few disjointed thoughts in honour of the occasion.

First up, a quotation from former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker:

I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold
for myself and for all mankind.

This is being blogburst (blogbursted?) by many Canadian bloggers today. I found out about it from Kathy Shaidle's blog, where she added some great commentary:
Note to belligerent Muslims and other professional victim groups who are using the Human Rights Commissions to "oppose what they believe is wrong":

The operative word in that composition is "free". You are NOT FREE if you are using agents of the state, and other people's extorted tax dollars, to fight your foolish battles. When you do that, you are a PARASITE. Parasites are not free.

I'm no cheerleader for Stephen Harper, but the other candidates for Prime Minister are absolute jokes. Today someone told me that they think Stephen Harper "has a secret right-wing agenda". Apparently as soon as he gets his majority, Canada will be transformed into Ayn Rand's fantasyland. Ignoring their delusional paranoia, I replied, "As an actual conservative (I pronounce it with a small 'c'), I can only hope."

I see a lot of sites warning commenters not to post election results until after the official sanctioned time approved by Elections Canada. This makes me wish that I knew some election results now, so I could post them in deliberate defiance. I should just make some up.

Elections Canada has to understand that communication is now global and effectively instantaneous. There's no logistic way to prevent people in British Columbia from finding out what's happening in Newfoundland (hint: not much). Nor should there be. The breakdown of communication barriers is one of the wonders of the modern age. I consider the efforts of Luddites to hinder it not only futile but possibly immoral.

This just in - the Green Party has taken Prince Edward Island in a sweep! They got the support of all ninety-four eligible voters and most of the potatoes!

We now rejoin our regularly scheduled rant, already in progress.

This isn't even a matter of joining the twenty-first century; the technology was in place before the end of the twentieth. Why do so many insist on staying mired in the nineteenth?

Furthermore, if anyone in a western time zone would alter their vote in any way (including by choosing to vote or not vote at all, when they had previously intended to do otherwise) because of what they heard happened back east, then they shouldn't vote to begin with. If you're not informed, committed, and willing to stand behind your ballot, then do everyone a favour and stay home. There must be something good on MTV tonight to keep you amused.

Canada's voter identification rules changed this year. Now voters need to bring identification to the polling station. I don't have an opinion one way or the other about that requirement, but it may have a positive side effect. I heard speculation today that it'll cause some people to get frustrated and not vote when they show up at the polls without the required ID and get turned away. Instead of going home, getting what they need, and coming back, they'll stay home and pout. (Hey, is that The Real World?)

That suits me just fine. Once again, the people turned away would be the least informed voters. Uninformed people should at least be responsible enough to refrain from introducing noise into the system with their arbitrary ballots. If you vote based on which candidate seemed "nicest", which party your parents / grandparents / whoever has always voted for, or (for crying out loud) the information you gleaned from campaign ads and mainstream news coverage, then your staying home constitutes a public service. Take a small deduction on your next year's taxes and put in a note in your return saying "Zirbert said you could".

I voted right after work. According to the advance polls for my riding, it was probably a wasted effort. But then, that's exactly what the nice folks tabulating and reporting the poll results wanted me to think, so I'd stay home and not mess things up for the candidate they had pre-selected.

Remember what I said a few paragraphs back about not letting previously announced results sway your vote? It goes for advance polls, too. It's quite entertaining to watch the American media try to convince McCain supporters not to waste their time showing up in November. It's blatantly obvious, and the sad part is that it'll probably be effective.

Enough rambling. Here's another picture from our our recent church-sponsored afternoon of trap shooting.


Anonymous said...

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Toronto life insurance broker said...

So, now we know it. Harper has it in his pocket, but still his hands are bounded. Participation created new record and immediately, opinions appeared, that it was Harper's evil plan - he deliberately introduced new administrative rules into voting system and distracted poor part of voters from voting (I don't understand that logic anyway...) Whatever are the results, I hope there will be no election at least for two years...ok, one and half...