Well… I exercised my right (ahem… privilege) to vote this week. I didn’t realize how disappointing it would be. After the election results came in, I sat in front of the t.v. with a surprisingly frustrating feeling bubbling up inside of me. Why.. after careful research and consideration to all of the party’s platforms.. after taking the time to read the newspaper every single day, and to keep up with the polls and other news on the campaigns..WHY, after all of that, did my vote not count?
See..I know that as soon as I say this, everyone says takes the moment to tell me in a condescending voice that “every vote counts”. Well I am going to explain why my vote did not count.
Where I live, there are a lot of religious people. There are churches for every single thing you can think of.. and you can barely drive 5 minutes down the road without passing 8 of them. I, however, have never set foot in a church in my entire life unless it was to take pictures or receive a history lesson. So there is a slight disadvantage to where I live, because people who go to church.. tend to swing to the right when they vote. However, I had it in my head that the mass amounts of young voters that I was sure would be voting.. might cancel out this advantage a smidge. I was wrong.
I voted NDP (who came in a far second I will add), whilst the rest of my town it seems, voted conservative. So when our dear conservative MP was elected.. all the votes that had gone to the second and third place candidates (which was at leas 15,000) were, for the lack of a better expression.. THROWN IN THE GARBAGE. See, even though the NDP did end up a fair second in the national results.. it was not my vote that contributed to this. It was in places like Quebec that did this. My vote was forgotten as soon as the conservative-voting people in my riding cancelled my vote out.
And so, a conservative majority was won. However, it is amusing to see that by popular vote, Harper’s majority was only, in fact, a rough 40% minority. With the NDP winning a strong opposition I might add. It is unfortunate that our First Past the Post system in Canada can change the results so drastically.
How does it make sense.. that Harper received a majority.. when only 40% of Canada’s population wanted him as our leader. In fact, 60% of Canada wanted anyone but him. I know someone who voted Green for that exact reason.
Canada needs to change it’s system, because this is the reason our voter turnout is so low. First-time voters like me get discouraged after one go. Because it isn’t a fair representation of Canada’s opinion.