None of the above…

Posted: June 10, 2014 in Norfolk County Rocks!
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ontario Election 2014I hope I’m not writing this too late for some people.  I’m sure that you all know that in a few days it’s time to go to the voting booth again (well, those of you in Ontario…), but have you made up your mind on who you want to vote for?  Are you planning on going at all?  Before you place the X beside a candidate, consider your options (and you might have options you didn’t even know about!)

I’ve heard from a lot of people that they’re not satisfied with our current pool of candidates, and who can blame them?  Even long time party followers are hesitating before they’re weighing in on opinions.

Let me set one point straight.  I strongly feel that we as Canadians have a civic duty to vote.  Saying that your one vote won’t make a difference is a cop out.  Saying that you don’t have time to go to the voting stations is an excuse (and a poor one, at that).  Every employer that I know will even give you time from work to go vote, so don’t tell me that you had to work and missed it.

More importantly, however, is making an EDUCATED vote.  So many people don’t pay any attention to the party stances until an election is looming over us, and there are commercials all over the place spinning wonderful tales of balanced budgets, more jobs, lower taxes, renewable energy, and unicorns that fly and poop golden coins  for anyone that votes for them…

Take the time to read up on the history of the party.  Check out it’s track record.  Learn what the party position is on different topics that matter to you.  DON’T base your opinion on what’s being spewed out on TV and on the radio.  Remember as well, you’re not voting for the individual person – the leader of the party.  You’re voting for the party itself.  This is why a party leader can retire or step down, and we’re now faced with a Premiere who’s name we’ve never even heard before.

Most of my friends know that I can get a bit charged up when it comes to politics, but in this moment I’m not going to give any opinions, or try to sway your political stance to match mine. (whoa!).  I just want to really stress how important it is to show up and actually vote.  But here we kind of come back to our original problem…who do you vote for when you have no faith in any of the options?

Don’t spoil your ballot, unless of course you’re going to finally vote me in for Emperor (things will be different when I’m emperor!).  Did you know that you have the right to decline your vote?  It has to be done right though.  You can’t write “decline” on the ballot…all that will do is get it thrown into the spoiled ballot pile.  Instead, when you receive your ballot, politely hand it back to the deputy returning officer and tell them that you are declining your vote.  At that point they have to write “declined” on the back of the ballot.  There is a special category for those…it’s not considered a spoiled ballot at that point.

This is written right into the Ontario Elections Act:

Declined Ballot

53.  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. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 53.

Here’s a website that was made with a bit more information on the subject:

I’m not saying this is what you should do…I just want you to know that you have options.  You don’t have to vote for the “lesser of two evils”.

Because we’re only a few days away from the election, please share this with as many people as you can!  Share it on Facebook, forward it in an email, anything.  I was nominated in College for a scholarship in politics, and I didn’t know that was an option, so there’s a good chance that your friends don’t either.

Happy hunting, and as always, thanks for reading 🙂

~Matt Johnston

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