Your Vote Doesn't Matter

October 1st, 2019 | CW

It’s election time again and disinterested mouth-breathing voters get to pretend they matter when casting a statistically useless and heavily contrived ballot. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of hearing naïve palookas talk and act like our democracy is anything other than a terrible joke.

Here’s how these idealists think our system works.

A bunch of grassroots citizens get together and buy political party memberships. Some of the more ambitious ones sit on electoral district association boards and run their little club. They then field nominations for a candidate from the community to put their name forward and a vote is held amongst members. The winner of the popularity contest can partake in a general election in which they reach out to the community and hear people’s thoughts and concerns. If they win the general election, they then go to Ottawa and work collaboratively on Parliament hill with other Members of Parliament in order to make Canada a better place!

Here's how things really work.

Membership to a political party is nothing but a money grab. The party of your choice knows how to manipulate certain hot topics for commercial gain. Those Facebook petitions of support? It’s just data mining for the political parties. They don’t want or care about your input, they want your contact info. Then they want your money. They spam you for cash throughout the entire length of your membershipand beyond. Every email is a desperate attempt to get more cash out of you. That’s all they care about.

If you are passionate and take the next step and sit on a board and get involved with your riding, then you will be exploited. One carrot that is dangled in front of these folks is the illusion that they will have some power. One of these power plays includes being a delegate at a policy convention.

A policy convention is supposed to be about the grassroots coming together to shape the values and priorities of the party. It’s not. It’s simply a free focus group for the party to get the gist of the membership and let the strident membership blow off steam and pretend like they matter. Policy that’s made at policy conventions is discarded with the wave of a hand if it doesn’t conform to what party brass have already decided upon. Andrew Scheer’s conniving regarding supply management in Halifax is the most recent example, but all the parties do this.

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"They spam you for cash throughout the entire length of your membership and beyond."

It doesn’t really matter much what or where policy comes from, because most voters are highly uninformed. They vote based on personality or what kind of vibe they’re getting from their personal social cues. Maybe one or two big campaign promises draw people in, but that’s about it. Even then, how many of these promises are kept after an election? Remember when Jean Chretien promised to abolish the GST in 1993? Remember when Stephen Harper promised a balanced budget with four years of $8 billion surpluses in 2008?

Remember when Justin Trudeau promised electoral reform in 2015?

What’s offered on the menu isn’t what we receive. It’s like walking into a McDonalds and ordering a Big Mac combo and they hand you a bag of toothpicks and dog shit. “What is this! I didn’t order this!”

“It’s what you get! Order something different next time!”

But at least we get to select someone from our local community to represent us and our interests in Ottawa! That’s the consolation that some people might resign themselves to. The truth is, the party often overrides the wishes of the EDA and just parachutes in some preferred hack against the grassroots wishes. This is happening big time for the upcoming election. Even if they aren’t appointed, they still must be vetted to the point of vanilla pudding, leaving voters with a slim variety of pre-selected selections.

This would be akin to walking into your supermarket and only seeing three jars of shit on the shelf. You walk up to the manager and you’re like, “Where’s the products…all I see are three jars of shit.”

“Yeah, three products. Take your pick.”

Once your supposedly local candidate freeps their nomination and presumably goes on to win in a general election, they then head to Ottawa with stars in their eyes and passion in their hearts, only to quickly realize that they’ve joined the trained seal brigade and are expected to just fill a seat and vote along party lines. This article by John Ivison is worth the read. He interviews a bunch of backbenchers that have decided not to run again because politics is such a waste of time.

As the article mentions, everything is run out of the Prime Minister’s Office by hired hacks, strategists and communications advisors. The game of campaigning never ends. The House of Commons “debates” are pointless. Nothing much gets done.

Now the moderates among us look at this situation and think the system is fine, but we just need better people within it…better politicians in other words. Slightly more strident people think we need some system reform. Michael Chong attempted this, but guess what? The system that propels these people into positions of wealth and power never really changes, because the people with the capacity to effect change aren’t incentivized to do it. The system works for them, right?

As a result, the Canadian public is left with an increasingly sclerotic and ineffective system filled with grifters providing ever diminishing returns. Systems that can’t go on forever, don’t. With an increasingly multicultural society, our democracy is destined to degrade and slide further into identity politics. This will make the decline worse, until people finally wake up to reality and start looking not for moderate solutions, but immoderate solutions. This may be a good thing… it may not be.

In the meantime, remember to vote on October 21st… or not… it doesn’t really matter.

© 2019 Poletical