Geekback - Disenfranchised

The finale.

The question that readers have been pestering me with today is, of course, "who ya gonna vote for?" Can't blame them for asking, I made a public issue of my attempt to email my candidates, so anyone following along now has a vested (or at least passing) interest in what happens. Since I don't particularly mind standing publicly behind my choice, I will humour everyone and spill the beans. But first, the inevitable recap:

I emailed each of the four main candidates in my riding (sorry, but I wasn't going to waste bandwidth on the Christian Heritage Party or any of the other nutjob organizations) with a couple of questions. I let them know in no uncertain terms that their answers would be the deciding factor for my vote, as I had no party allegiance and found all of the party leaders to be generally horrid. The results where as follows:

Don Graves, Conservative Party of Canada: The candidate personally emailed me back in about 2 days. His answers to the four questions I posed to him ranged from trite (for "Why is your party offering tax cuts instead of being fiscally responsible and paying down the debt?") to downright dangerous (for "What is your stance on the nonwithstanding clause?") but at least he answered.

Bill Kelly, Liberal Party of Canada: Never heard a word. One lousy question, and no one bothered to write back. Not Bill (who is actually a friend, which cheeses me off even more), not a campaign flack, no one. Nada. I can only assume that he was too busy taking kickbacks and stuff (being Liberal and all) to sit down and type. Worse, the email address wasn't actually on his campaign web page and I had to waste 10 minutes hunting for it.

Susan Wadsworth, Green Party: I got a reply to my single question for her almost immediately ... because the email address on her campaign web page was invalid and the damn thing bounced back. Against my better judgement (mostly because I wanted to vote for her) I emailed the webmaster listed at the party's national page and asked what was going on. The reply? "Sorry we're so incompetent!" What? What the fuck is that? Why not just stamp "Loser" on the forehead of each candidate? Jeezus.

Chris Charlton, New Democratic Party of Canada: It took a while, but I got a reply ... one that started with the words "Dear Fellow Working Canadian". That's right ... a fucking form letter. And not even an auto-reply - apparently technical ineptitude is as important as stomping on worker rights in the NDP camp, and the canned response was obviously copied and pasted into the reply by some hapless drone. I never got to the second line of the reply ... I'm not wasting time reading pre-fab drivel from someone who obviously doesn't care for my vote.

The conundrum, of course, is that the one person who bothered to reply is a member of a party that is headed up by a truly terrible person - a slimy little bastard who worships at the foot of G.W. Bush, has demonstrated himself time and time again to be one of the stupidest people in the history of Canadian politics, and who would probably sell his own children into slavery if it weren't so annoyingly illegal. I mulled this all weekend, and eventually had to turn to the last refuge of the desperate voter in Canada: Parliamentary Tradition. By definition, we do not vote for the party or the leader, we vote for the local candidate. So that is what I will do. Despite the fact that his answers kind of sucked, I will vote for the Tory because no one else gave a rat's ass about my ballot. My only comfort here is that never in the history of Canadian politics has a riding been decided by a single vote, and I don't expect that to change tonight ... it is the aggregate that counts. My one ballot will not win or lose a seat for the Tories, and will therefore not be the difference between Stephen Harper being either Prime Minister or a sad little footnote in the annals of election history. But it will make me feel better to cast it for the only candidate that made a fucking effort.

See you at the polls.

Posted: Mon - January 23, 2006 at 04:06 PM