COLUMN: Why vote? There’s really no need

May 2 is another election day.
The election pundits will tell you it’s a real chance to decide who runs the show in Ottawa.

May 2 is another election day.

The election pundits will tell you it’s a real chance to decide who runs the show in Ottawa. After years of minority government, the Tories could finally pull it off and get the keys to the car and a full tank of gas.

The rhetoric in coming weeks could get intense, and it will be hard to fathom the truth in it all.

Will the Tories really put half of us in jail and give the other half high-powered rifles to protect ourselves?

Is Michael Ignatieff really a Russian spy? Is Jack Layton really Ted Turner?

So many webs to untangle.

But who cares?

Elections come and go like dashed Stanley Cup dreams around these parts.

It’s like watching the rain through your window at work. Don’t worry, you’ll get another chance to enjoy it on the weekend.

Elections aren’t worth noting at all.

Most people should just hit the couch that first Monday in May, watch Dancing with the Stars, maybe tune into the news later to see who won this time.

Getting up and hoofing it to the polling station? No way. Better to spend that energy elsewhere, like trying to fathom the great features on that shiny iPhone or removing that ugly stain from the toilet bowl.

Leave it to those suckers who keep voting year after year.

Just think how much responsibility those masochists willingly bear on their shoulders.

Because of dwindling voter turnout, each one of their votes carries a weight that is actually much more significant. They’re not just voting for themselves, they’re voting on behalf of others too.

Poor sods.

Think about it.

Federal election turnout was 59 per cent in 2008, provincial turnout in 2009 was just 50 per cent. And in the last New Westminster municipal election three years ago, less than one-quarter of all eligible voters came out.

Suddenly, every patsy who follows the issues, gets to know the candidates and forces himself to make a decision has found himself forced to carry the weight of four.


I suppose we could ease the load on these blokes and sheilas, and follow the path of Australia.

Force everyone to vote.

Make it the law.

There’d be 100 per cent turnout and every half-wit could reach his own decision, employing his mind-making-up technology of choice. One potato, two potato. Spin the bottle. Pin the tail on the donkey.

Maybe that’s why Down Under these wise folks are called the “donkey vote.”

For now, my advice to you non-voters out there is to watch out.

Habitual voters will try to foist their burden on you by using guilt.

They’ll talk about how privileged we are to have the vote in the first place, pointing to our free society—they might even mention the world wars.

And they’ll dredge up those old, hard-fought battles waged to bring the franchise to anyone other than land-owning white men.

You tell them bullocks.

If you don’t want to vote, don’t bother.

As for me, I’m only too happy to do it for you.

Chris Bryan is editor of the NewsLeader and a New Westminster resident.