The Silent Revolution (vote but don’t vote)

August 30, 2007

Ontario elections are coming up.  All right!  I love elections.  I find the shit-chucking very sophisticated, intelligent and classy.  Everyone demeans themselves in their efforts to demean everyone else.  Funny no one seems to stop and think about that. 

I think I finally understand why you can’t take the shit out of elections.  Essentially, the country does not undergo any dramatic change when power changes hands.  It’s always the same crap.  We learn about the previous government’s wrong-doings when the new one takes over & it becomes the built-in excuse for the new government to reneg on all of it’s grandiose campaign promises.  The faces may change, but the stink is always the same. 

Politicians assume we understand this process and make an effort to convince us that their competition will be much worse than themselves.  So when their eventual scandal is revealed, it won’t be as bad as it otherwise could’ve been.  Vote for me!

Screw it.  Waste of time.

I am a firm believer in voting.  I like voting.  Here’s my quandary: what if I don’t like any of the people I am supposed to vote for?  Am I supposed to settle of the least nefarious of the horde?  Do I leave it blank?  Do I destroy the ballot in an act of indignance?  I wonder.  What would happen if I experienced an uncharacteristic sense of generosity and voted for everyone?

In the Canada Elections Act, Paragraph 167(2)(a) says, “No person shall wilfully alter, deface or destroy a ballot.”  Okay.

Paragraph 489(3)(e) states “Every person is guilty of an offence who contravenes any of paragraphs 167(1)(a) to (d) (prohibited acts re ballots) or 167(2)(a) to (d) (prohibited acts re ballots or ballot box with intent to influence vote).  Uh oh!

Paragraph 500(5) contains the punishment – for summary conviction, a fine of not more than $2000 and/or a prison term of not more than a year.  Yikes!  And for a conviction on indictment, a fine of not more than $5000 and/or a prison term of not more than five years.

So…my guess is that it’s a punishable offence for me to vote for everyone, to write ‘Screw You’ or draw a happy face somewhere in the margin, or anything.  Thank goodness for paragraph 163 which plainly states “The vote is secret.”  Direct quote, no paraphrasing!

The vote is secret.  I can’t be caught.  I can do whatever I want, so long as I keep it to myself.  I can vote for everyone if I feel like it.  I’ll (maybe) start the revolution, but will (probably) be silent.  Vote for everyone, drop the ballot in the box and smile.

Don’t tell anyone about this!