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nag nag nag

if you're in canada, you should be aware that there is a federal election that is happening on monday. unlike a lot of elections, this is one where the outcome is unsure, which makes it all the more important that people who would be inclined to sit at home and ignore what's happening to get out and figure out which candidate, if any, they support.

there are lots of ways you can make this decision. you can vote because you like the platform of a particular party. you can vote for a particular candidate because you think they are a well-informed, principled person (having those around is a good thing, no matter what party they come from). you can even make a point of spoiling your ballot (as long as you don't eat it, because that's illegal), if you feel that you've studied the parties and their candidates and really cannot find a decent one among them to support.

the important thing is to participate. because the easiest way for politics to become/ continue being corrupt and unfair is for the people to stay asleep and refuse to hold them to account.

in fact, voting should not be the only participation people have in their democracy. things as simple as making an effort to inform ourselves on issues, publicly question and take action against decisions we feel are wrong and support decisions we feel are right- those efforts are, in fact, more important. but the fact is that voting does change things, particularly when there are as many closesly contested races as there are in this election.

a word about strategic voting, while i'm at it: voting for one party or candidate you don't like or know nothing about because you dislike or fear the alternative is a really bad idea. it is a long-standing tool of those in power to maintain their position by keeping people afraid that anyone else is going to sell the country to foreigners, let terrorists blow us all up, or turn the country into a fascist dictatorship. you want to know what happens when people vote because they are made to feel afraid? look to the south of us.

vote for someone because you feel they are good or their party is good, even if they aren't going to win. because it's better to vote for what you want than to try to choose between devils.

information on how to vote is available through elections canada and riding by riding candidate profiles, as well as a lot of other information on the election is available through the cbc.

still convinced that your vote is meaningless? why not use the election as an excuse to campaign for electoral reform, so that people don't have to feel that their votes are wasted just because they don't support the winning candidate?

here endeth the nag.

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