One student’s frustration with elections

As you’re probably well aware, there’s a provincial election right now and according to people who care, it’s a big deal. You’ve basically got two main parties — the B.C. Liberals and the NDP — who’ll most likely win, and they’re counting on you to vote them in.

If you’re politically savvy and have been following current events, you’ll probably have your own opinion on which party ought to win the election. However, if you’ve been briefly following provincial politics and you’re fed up with the everyday b.s. that each party spits and you don’t even know who to vote for, then I’ve got an answer for you: don’t vote at all.

For years we’ve heard our parents mindlessly complain about politicians and continuously vote in one asshole after another. After all that, they’d say something incredibly thoughtless like, “If you don’t vote, you’ve got no right to complain,” or “If you want to see change, then vote,” or my personal favourite (it goes something along the lines of) “You young people never vote. Grow up.”

Let’s diagnose their affirmations for just a sec. First, if someone doesn’t vote, why do they lose the right to complain? If a bunch of folks elected a government that screwed up everything, why would the person who didn’t elect that incompetent government have no right to be upset? I would make the argument that if you do elect the party that screwed everything up, you’re to blame. Second, if anyone wanted to change their community, why would they turn to voting? It’s the most inconvenient, bureaucratic and out-of-date system of creating change. And, why on earth should young people vote for a bunch of old people who have nothing in common with them? Most politicians cater to an older demographic, and most young people are far too busy on Youtube anyway.

Presently, voter turnout is just low enough for candidates to preach at people to vote. You might be thinking to yourself “Man, you’ve got to vote — it’s the only way to change things for the better, right?” Wrong! If you want to see change, stay home on May 14. Imagine if only 10–20 per cent of the public voted. That would send a clear message to the government that the public has little confidence in their elected officials. Then, they’d come to us — the public — and ask us what we want.

Politicians don’t deserve my vote. They claim they want your vote so badly that they hang out on a street corner and wave at you with fake smiles and stick up the same stupid sign in the dirt to get your attention — a sign that just says their name. Then, when the election is over, they disappear and forget all about you and your problems. It’s actually quite insulting, because the sign doesn’t even greet you with a “hello,” “good day” or anything — just “Bob Jones.” Those signs remind me of assholes at bars who whistle and snap their fingers at servers to come to them and serve them on command.

I urge you to stop giving a shit about your government, because I believe that they don’t care about you, your family or your ridiculous student debt. Don’t buy into the “we’re creating jobs” bullshit either; as a student, I know that nobody on this formerly green earth is creating a job for me. Nobody’s ever going to knock on your door or send an email with a job proposition unless you have killer connections, in which case, hook me up.

One Comment

Avatar upcoastal

I have a problem with your perspective on this issue. While government may not care about you or your problems, it is no reason to cast the democratic process aside.
Staying home on election day and not voting is no way to send a message to governments. With all respect, that is naive of you to suggest.
I agree the system needs fixes and us voters have a right to be upset (and not vote at all; that’s fine). Social change has never come about by not being proactive, not organizing and simply writing articles that declare democracy is dead. Vote in local elections, provincial elections and federal elections. Write letters, emails, protest and get involved. Or don’t – but know that you’ll be making no difference at all unless you try.

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