06/12/2014 11:27 EDT | Updated 08/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Declining Your Vote Is a Waste of Time


The newest hot trend in the trying-so-hard-not-to-expend-one-iota-of-independent-self-guided-research crowd is declining your vote.

In less than 24 hours all manner of articles have sprung up that read like the person writing them caught a case of spontaneous narcolepsy when forced to talk about the election. Nobody is going to argue the fact that the Ontario party leaders we've been presented with this time around come across as flat and less than engaging, but when was it ever going to be an option that Hudak's lifeless floating grin be the one I could hold accountable were something to happen to me in my own neighbourhood? Did everyone forget how our political system works?

The amount of time it takes to find each party's candidate in your particular riding falls somewhere at or under five-minutes depending how much other stuff you're doing on your computer. Admittedly the Liberal party's website was the shittiest and required the most clicking around but otherwise all are equipped, upon entering your postal code, to place in front of you a candidate, a bio with fun facts about 'em and the issues they feel particularly inclined to. Maybe you'll find a match. There are also a lot of other great credible news sites that have done all the legwork for you.

Do you know what you accomplish by declining your vote? Nothing. Do you know who is paying attention, ripping their hair out and pounding the ground with a clenched fist crying over the fact that they lost you, you of all people? Nobody. You're not sending a message and you're sure as shit not effecting the current state of political affairs.

You're handing the power directly back to the people who made you this mad in the first place (if you actually are mad and not just being a pouty baby). If you're that dissatisfied right now then get involved so next time around you'll identify with a candidate and the party that they represent instead of whining about how nobody engaged you.

What do you even mean? Like nobody made a cool joke reference about a Buzzfeed quiz or also thought that James Franco's story was stupid? Politics aren't there to brush your hair or even brush their hair. It's always nice to have a figurehead that seems like people you know and is into stuff you've heard of but ultimately I am not sure I would want to trust someone who is spending all their time looking the part and eating pizza rather than getting flustered as hell effecting the change they promised they would.

Can we get over ourselves for one second, also, and stop thinking that we're such a great group of people to engage with? A lot of my contemporaries are shitty, really annoying, and never shut up about themselves but still hold onto this prevailing idea that they are owed something and when it is not provided have tantrums really crummily disguised as acting punk and deciding to blow off the system that has "once again" fucked them over. You know what's punk? Not acting like a total idiot and informing yourself beyond what is being shared around Facebook.

This isn't to say each party isn't just as guilty as behaving like a brat. Attack ads that are so blatantly a waste of time and money that you can basically see stacks of Mackenzie King's face going up in flames instead of being put to better use like say, fixing a pothole or keeping shelters open are insulting to voters.

The thing about not giving a shit is that to actually not give a shit you don't get to just say that when it suits you and use the accompanying apathy as a justifier. That's actually just called being shitty. It's 100 times easier which is probably why it's so popular. Giving a shit is hard. It's hard because like anything good it forces you to continually re-evaluate your arguments and reasoning for things, and to admit when they are outdated or wrong or too self-serving to be of any real use.

Political parties aren't there to mirror you completely because that would be a nightmare. They are there to encompass as best they can the needs of the people and when some people lazily forfeit a right other people literally die for these parties can no longer function and do their jobs. Declining your vote isn't going to do anything, dragging yourself out of the torpor and sheer effort it takes to actively pretend nothing matters is.



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