On Voting

I recently attended a forum for local candidates in the provincial election that is taking place tomorrow. I felt a little overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge of current events in the province and also by my confusion over what should make a candidate deserving of my vote.

Provincial Candidates for Lethbridge East and West

I have decided not to be apathetic though; I’ve decided to vote for Tom Moffatt of the NDP. I haven’t jumped to this conclusion lightly. Among other reasons, I’m voting for him because the NDP is a party that DOES NOT TAKE corporate donations—EVER. It’s a party for the people, one that has proven it can be trusted.

The other thing I wanted to bring up, is voter apathy. It’s become a big problem here, as in many western countries. My friend Andy wrote an article on the subject, Voting: part of a healthy democratic diet, that has been published in this weeks issue of The Meliorist (the student run paper at the University of Lethbridge). Seriously go read the article, it’s short and it very nicely sums up why people don’t vote, and why it’s important to take part in the selection of our government.

He states that one of the biggest causes of voter apathy is the lack of proportional representation. According to Andy’s article, I can see why the current party (the Progressive Conservatives) have nothing to gain and everything to lose from proportional representation.

The differences based on the last elections results would be as follows:

  • PC – would have 39 seats instead of 61
  • Liberals – would have 24 seats instead of 17
  • NDP – would have 8 seats instead of 4
  • Wildrose Alliance – would have 7 seats instead of 1
  • Green – would have 2 seats instead of 0
  • Social Credit – would have 1 seat instead of 0

Albertans are ready for a new government and if we had a more democratic way of getting the people we want into power, more voters would vote with their hearts and we’d see an even bigger shift away from the PC party.

Here’s hoping more people will vote for the party they believe in, despite a lack of proportional government, in the hope of moving our leadership in the direction the people want.

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