Elections are coming up, and everybody has an opinion. Amidst the fray of the increasing political frenzy of smear campaigning, fighting for television air-time, and arguments on how to best run the country, those who are passionate about their politics suddenly find much more to talk about at the dinner table. Battle lines will be drawn, and when the dust settles, only one party will be left standing.
I would like to draw my own line in the sand. I would like to create my own political party. It will be comprised of those who believe in economic balance and equality. It will be comprised of those who believe in the free market and opportunity.
It will be called, The Anti-Apathy Party.
The party platform is simple: vote. We in the AAP don’t care for whom you vote, be you Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, Christian Heritage, Marijuana, or Rhino. We in the party have one core belief — to make a democracy work, we must be involved in our politics.
That means there will be no screaming from the sidelines. If you, the voter, choose not to participate in our government, why should you get to tell a voting citizen how the government should be running things?
Those who don’t vote (excluding those who can’t for a legitimate reason) don’t want to exercise their political voice, so why should they verbalize their grievances. Vote so you can have your say, on the ballot and in a public forum.
There are those who claim, they don’t like any of the parties, so they won’t vote for any of them. While our government can be very distant and menacing at times, with taxes and laws and an impersonal system, it is a government that is elected by us, the people, to serve us. We are fortunate to live in a country where we are given choice so freely, while Libyans vote for self-determination with bullets, and China imprisons those who would dare to speak out against the Party.
We do not have a perfect system, but it is far from unfair. Those who claim their political inactivity is justified should consider some of the happenings in our government as the election nears.
The leader of a federal party with nearly a million votes in the 2008 election was barred from Canada’s televised debate because she did not have a seat in the House of Commons. While this reflects mostly on one of the flaws of our system, perhaps your vote could have given her that one riding she needed to justify her appearance.
Here’s another thought. The minority government of our country is hoping to come out of this election with a majority government. If you believe in what they stand for, help them get their majority. If you oppose their views, stand firm and show solidarity with your vote for the opposition.
Our politics can be dry, full of doublespeak and ambiguity. However, it is more important that we participate in our democracy, to make our government accurately reflect the political will of the people. Fifty-nine per cent of registered voters did so in 2008. Our democracy cannot be fair and balanced if it reflects only three-fifths of the population’s belief.
I am 18, a student, and my friends and I are very excited to have our voices heard. I come from a demographic historically the most apathetic, so I opted to be an example, and to encourage those who would not normally vote, to consider the Anti-Apathy Party’s ancient creed.
It’s a motto rooted in ancient tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, a motto that someone has killed and died for on this very day in the Middle East, a motto that we in the West too often take for granted.
You deserve to have your voice heard. Exercise your freedom, and vote for what you believe in.
— Kieran Collery is a KSS student.