I just got back from voting in my municipal election and, in a bizarre twist of circumstance, my vote will be counted. Usually, by day’s end, the election officials look at my ballot and say, “Fuck.”
I spoil my ballots.
Hear me out: Canada functions using the First Past the Post, Plurality system; no runoffs, no second round, nothing to give any candidate any more than his 30% – 40% “legitimacy.” It’s an anti-democratic fraud foisted upon the Canadian people more regularly than we’d like with results you might expect; corruption, dissatisfaction and generalized apathy pervade the Canadian political climate and no one harbours any hope of changing it.
You’ll recall from my discussions of Minority Governments that it is only through these that, in our system, we manage anything near democratic representation (Remember, if the Conservatives got 37% of the vote, that means fully 63% of the population voted against them).
So I’ve taken a stand, now; every time I vote in an election with more than two parties and no hope of a runoff or second round election, I don’t cross either box and I write “La Pluralité est Anti-Démocratique” across the names of all the candidates – it is a practice I urge (whether in french or english doesn’t matter) on all electors, that we might one day, maybe, effect a change in the system.
Not today, though; in my little suburb, the election was between two candidates and the result was guaranteed to be a genuine majority-rules election. So I voted.
That being said, it was only a majority election by default and had there been a third candidate, I would again have spoiled my ballot. I don’t believe in two party systems, so I urge everyone to urge their MPs to discuss election reform that would include runoff elections to proper plurality votes that we may end up with a truly representative parliament.