Don’t Want to Vote, Then Don’t

Is it a privilege or an obligation to vote?
It’s an interesting debate and one that has the knickers of some Facebook users in a knot.
When former television broadcaster Ken Evraire took to Facebook recently to say he wasn’t going to vote this upcoming provincial election, the floodgates opened up an intense debate.
“It’s gotten to the point that I won’t vote for anyone, be it Liberal, PC or NDP. I simply do not trust any of the candidates. I know I will have people tell me that I then become part of the problem. Fact is, I don’t think any of them represent a solution,” Evraire wrote recently.
“WELL THEN, AS A CANADIAN CITIZEN WHOSE GRANDFATHERS WENT TO WAR, PROTECTING OUR WAY OF LIFE, YOU SIR ARE A TYPICAL WHINER, WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT EVERYTHING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT COPS OUT WHEN YOU HAVE A VALID OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE WHAT YOU WHINE ABOUT, SO IN FUTURE kwitcherbitchin!!!,” posted Jim Lalonde, clearly not happy!
One of the next posted entries from Juan Carlos Noria, who did give me a chuckle,  ‘Why caps Jim? You like to scream?”
“HELL YEAH, SIT ON YOUR LAZY ARSES, CLAIM WELFARE, SIT BACK N SAY GOTTA LOVE TRUDOPE, HE FEEDS US, CLOTHES US, YOU ASS, IT IS MY TAX DOLLARS THAT SUPPORT BYOR LAZY ARSES,” Lalonde continued.
Not sure Facebook brings out the best in Lalonde!
Clearly Evraire wasn’t phased by Lalonde’s caps!
“Your solution is to vote for someone for the sake of voting to say I participated. Bring me viable candidates. Bring me less spin. Bring me a leader who hasn’t lost touch with anything she originally believed in. (Wynne),” Evraire responded.
Lalonde wasn’t the only one letting have Evraire have it.
“Disappointed you’d say this! I’m sure you understand that a HUGE part of the problem is voter apathy. Why would you want to contribute to that???” asked Sally Thomas.
“Not voting is not the answer.We only have one time to make a change.That is on election day.More people need to show up and vote,” Rich Bowie wrote.
Bob Richer:  “Are you kidding me??? Many people in other countries die just attempting to vote! Don’t disrespect this right and privilege that we have in this country. Don’t let voter apathy take over!!!
Frankly, I just can’t believe – and have seen no reason to waiver from my opinion – that the men and women who fought for our freedom – did so to force us to vote. They fought for freedom, not obligatory, sometimes ignorant voting. It’s our right to vote, to feel forced is just wrong.
Why should someone who hasn’t educated themselves on the issues or the candidates; who doesn’t see anyone on the political front they believe in enough to have to vote?
“iF HE DOES NOT VOTE, WHO CARES, BUT HE FORFEITS HIS RIGHT TO BITCH N WHINE IN FUTURE,” the angry Lalonde wrote.
Those this is Lalonde not caring? Hate to read his rage when he does!
And I couldn’t disagree more.
We all have the right to protest decisions, actions, taxes and all of their ramifications. Not voting doesn’t take away our right to be a citizen of this city, this province or our country. And voting when you don’t know the issues or don’t like choices is just ridiculous.
I’m not alone.
‘”I would say your grandfathers went to war to fight for our freedoms. Be it free to vote for any candidate or free not to vote at all,” Tim Dunn wrote.
And this from Warren Andrew: “Our democratic duty is to be aware and participate in our democracy. Taking a step not to vote is much different then not caring. I applaud his decision if he doesnt feel any of the platforms or candidates appeal to the values and principles of he and his loved ones.”
Perhaps the best Facebook posting came from Jeff Morris, who didn’t let himself get drawn into a somewhat ugly debate
“I’m voting for ReMax. If you drive around Barrhaven they have the most signs.”

9 Comments

  1. I can sympathize with those deciding not to vote. Not one of the parties running right now have replied to my questions on just where they believe all the money that they are promising to spend is going to come from. Local candidates knocking on my door have no idea of the policies and legislation that the current government has enacted.
    Many years ago, I wrote to what was then Elections Ontario, asking how to get “none of the above” on the ballot. I figured that was a legitimate way to voice my displeasure with the slate, and I somewhat naively believed that if “none of the above” won in a couple of ridings, maybe, just maybe, the political parties would start to look at what they were doing wrong. I failed in my attempts, of course.
    It seems to me that, if a movement could start where thousands and thousands of voters make the effort to go to the polls, and spoil their ballots, and if the number of spoiled ballots was counted and reported on, maybe politicians would take notice.
    Of course, I still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, too.

  2. I don’t blame people for not voting! Diane the longest standing City Councillor in Ottawa didn’t live in her Ward over 10 years. Then Diane took money from OCH & is nowhere to be seen in those photos, Jim Watson – Jean Cloutier are no better taking money from Timbercreek & now Heron Gate is getting torn down. There is no decency in individuals that serve in public office apart from late Mauril Belanger! I’m not voting either!!

  3. Yup, Susan. Absolutely correct.
    The fights for our freedom to vote for whom we choose includes the right to choose not to vote at all, correct?

  4. It’s a form of protest that Ontario residents have the right to, according to Section 53 of the Ontario Election Act, which reads: “An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word ‘declined’ upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote.”

    https://globalnews.ca/news/4225759/ontario-election-decline-to-vote/

  5. I think it is important to go to the polls so it isn’t said that I am not interested in this election. I can either ruin my ballot or return it as Arina has stated. However, before doing this, I look at the people who are running in my riding. If one person appears to be an excellent representative, then I will vote for the person, not the party. I feel that if we do this in every riding, vote for the best person in our ridings, then we may end up with great elected, responsible people. The leader only has one vote so others can make changes.

  6. I would like to agree with you, Sherry. In the past, I have voted for individuals that I believed were good people whom I hoped would be good representatives of their voters. Unfortunately, the norm is that our reps are not there (federal, provincial) to represent their constituents. They are there to support the party. They vote as they are told to vote by the party whip. Failure to do so means no committee memberships at the least and expulsion from the caucus at the most.
    I have some experience briefing parliamentarians on proposed legislation. They vote without reading it our, if they read it, without understanding it. They vote for it because the whip orders them to vote for it. Their constituents concerns or positions are completely irrelevant. It is a waste of their time to read or comprehend it because their vote is pre-ordained.
    It is not accurate to say that the “leader has only only vote”. The leader has as many votes as the leader can whip and, generally, that is the vote of all voting members.
    Sad, but true. I urge everyone to look up the voting record of their elected reps, and challenge them when it is obvious that they are voting the party line, notwithstanding their statements while running for election, or the majority positions of their electorate.
    In a majority government, in Canada, we have little more than a benevolent dictatorship, thanks in no small part to whipped votes and docile reps.

    1. You are right Grant. I was wrong in saying that the leader has only one vote. I had a pie in the sky moment! We are even seeing it at the City level. Our Mayor will punish elected councillors who don’t agree with him.

  7. I applaud your efforts to attempt to say positive, Sherry. I’m too old and cynical to match your efforts.

  8. One thought to those who say non-voters can’t then gripe. I look at my paycheque every two weeks and I see a large amount of it gone. It goes to the provincial and federal governments to pay for a multitude of services. As long as they keep taking money off my paycheque, then yes, I have a right to complain about how it’s being spent or even to praise someone for how it’s being used. The fact that I didn’t vote doesn’t take away that right to question your government. Think of the reverse. If you voted, does that mean you absolutely agree with everything the party stands for? If you voted PC, does that mean you can’t complain about anything the PCs do over the next four years? Of course, not, your vote wasn’t a blank cheque.

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