It’s here. Election day. (Or Election Day, as the auto-correct insists on my writing it.) 294 days since this Campaign 2010 kicked off, back in blustery, blowy, blizzardy January. Yes, I am guessing what the weather was. It might’ve been cold, crisp and bright. But we can agree that it was January.
Partisan bickering and jostling has subsided somewhat. A general agreement has been reached at least between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Vote, people. Whatever else you do, however which way it is you plan to cast your ballot, just go and do it. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote.
The common sentiment on why this is important seems to be, if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch. Let’s take that a bit further. If you are an eligible voter who doesn’t vote, if you can’t find the time during this 10 hour period to take 15 minutes, ½ an hour, 2 hours to make it to your appointed polling station and cast a ballot (having already not gone to advance polls earlier this month), then what you’re really telling everyone is that, fuck it, you don’t give a shit about what happens in this city. You are letting it be known that you’re not an engaged citizen or active participant. You’re just somebody who lives here.
Much has been made throughout this campaign about the disengagement between City Hall and the general public. Less than 40% of the electorate voted in the last municipal election here in 2006, including an eye-poppingly low 18% of the 18-34 year-old demographic. Electoral reform is clearly needed, through ranked ballots to increased powers at the community council level.
But it is a two-way street, this civic disengagement. When less than 4 in 10 of us actually bother to vote, it sends a message to those that do get elected that a solid majority of us don’t care, aren’t following what’s going on and, ultimately, it doesn’t matter what happens down at City Hall. It gives our representatives carte blanche. A green light to run roughshod and to say, when we do raise our heads in indignation (our heads only ever raise in indignation, it seems), oh hey, I thought you weren’t paying attention…
So, no excuses, OK? Do your democratic duty and get out and vote. I don’t care who for (maybe I do, just a little) or if you make a point of going in and spoiling as a form of protest. Just vote, be counted and have your voice heard. As our Twitter friend bikeroo wrote, “Hey Toronto, vote like your city depends on it!”
– already having votedly submitted by Cityslikr