photo by postbear on Flickr
In May of 2009 I wrote a post for Tenth to the Fraser called “Political Grinch“. In it, I talked about why I’ve come to just blindly vote for the Green Party of Canada and walk away. I’ve apparently grown up quite a bit in two years since that provincial election, because this time, I’m paying attention and this time, I’m not just going to blindly vote for the party I *think* meets with my agenda. This time I’m voting because I want my vote to count.
The other day on Twitter, Jon Strocel from The V3H (which is kind of the sister site to Tenth- while Tenth is about New Westminster, they’re focussed on the TriCities area) posted a link to a rant from the Rick Mercer Report season finale which aired March 29th. I rarely get to watch live TV these days and if it’s not on my PVR chances are I’m missing it entirely so I missed the Rick Mercer Report Tuesday night. The best part for me often is the Rant at the end so I love that these things are available as little nuggets on YouTube.
Anyway, I digress.
If you dont feel like checking out the link to the Rick Mercer Report rant, here’s a summary: if you are between 18-24 you need to vote your arse off this federal election because no one is expecting you to and no one is going to even try and court your vote so why not take the country by surprise and speak up. It’s like, hipster subversive emo something-or-other. Rick says it much better than I. I’m not in that age category anymore, not by a long shot, but I sure do like the idea of rocking the vote and getting more and more young people out there.
This year I’ve been paying attention to what’s going on. I’ve been reading a lot and listening to my better-informed friends. One of the things that has previously turned me off about elections is the mud-slinging and the attack ads. So I’m simply tuning them out. (Ads based on humour are pretty good though – check out this link to an NDP one about Premier Christy Clark: “Can something taste…. mean?” Snicker snicker)
And while in past years I would have blindly voted for the Greens because I *think* they represent me, I’ve made a point to learn more about the issues that I think are important, and find out where each party stands. My riding is New Westminster-Coquitlam, not to be confused with Burnaby-New Westminster, because New Westminster, teeny city though it may be, is divided down the middle. So, who I vote for differs from who my friends Will and Briana vote for even though we’re in the same city.
Although not official to Elections Canada until April 13th and I don’t know of any independants running yet, there are four candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring:
- Fin Donnelly – NDP (who is the incumbent)
- Rebecca Helps – Green Party
- Ken Beck Lee – Liberal Party (oh, and Liberal Party? The constant annoying popup on your website asking for all my private info and attempting to put me on your mailing list? Stick it.)
- Diana Dilworth – Conservative Party
And although my tendencies are to vote Green (and Rebecca Helps’ long time affiliation with Girl Guides of Canada sure plays on my sympathy vote), I’ve made my mind up to vote this year for the NDP candidate in my area, Fin Donnelly. I am acquainted with Fin through my work at the market, and I know he is an honest and caring person who is open, approachable, and a hard worker. While I’m not in love with the NDP and it’s unlikely they’ll ever see a donation or a membership application from me, I recognize that there isn’t snowball’s chance in hell that Rebecca Helps is going to win and frankly, I want my vote to count. The NDP has enough environmental issues on their agenda that makes me feel they are close enough to my own personal beliefs (closer than the Conservatives or the Liberals), and my knowledge of Fin Donnelly as a candidate makes me comfortable with voting for the person, not the party.
Canadian friends, what about you?
For fun, I used the CBC Vote Compass (which, granted, has been criticized a fair amount but hey,) and was shocked that it told me I was a Liberal Party supporter which made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Apparently I had too many “somewhat” agrees or disagrees – I didn’t feel things strongly enough to be classed anything but Liberal.)