Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Election Day

Election day is here (again). We've been at the polls quite often over the past few years, one of the joys of the Canadian system of government. And it looks like we'll be back at the polls again next year. You'd think the leaders in the government would take a hint that Canadians are not satisfied with their choices as we elect minority government after minority government.

Tonight James will be popping a huge bowl of popcorn and plopping himself down to watch the results roll in. This is an event that rivals the Oscars for him. I also like the anticipation of seeing the voting unfold, although I'm not such a die-hard fan. I suppose I should be grateful my husband's vice is elections and not baseball or football or something I find completely uninteresting.

Just a quick note to a dear friend who called this morning to see if I needed a ride to vote today. She knows I'm usually without a car, and phoned just to make sure I was going to be able to get to my polling station. I'm grateful for her thoughtfulness.

My grandmother introduced me to a voting strategy I wasn't aware of. At Thanksgiving this weekend, our family chatted about politics. She voted in the advance polls, but didn't not vote for any candidate. Huh? That's right. She did not support any of party leaders, and also was not impressed with her local candidates. So she went to the polling station, registered her vote, then put a blank ballot into the box. Unlike spoiling the vote (where you mark up your ballot any way other than writing one "X" in one of the boxes), casting a blank ballot is registered as a vote of protest. Last week I wrote about wishing our ballots had an "abstain" box to vote for, to show you wanted to vote but did not support any of the candidates. This, in effect, is the same thing. I do wish that they widely released the statistics on protest or abstained votes. It might send some louder messages to our political leaders out there.

Our family took a short poll online that required you to choose which statements you agree with on certain key issues. At the end it tallied up how many answers for each party you chose, and told you which party your views are most in line with. Surprisingly, our family of about 13 vote equally across the board. Some are strong supporters, others are finding themselves with new parties. I love the diversity in this country and in our family. It's what makes life interesting.

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