Is Not Voting The Best Way To Speak Up?

Posted Thursday, October 28th, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

We just had our municipal/local elections in the province of Ontario, Canada. In the US you are about to embark on a Senator election. This is a time that many people are frustrated and want change — but are the people we electing really going to make a difference? In the municipal election we were voting for mayor, councillors and trustees.

I want to share with you a short editorial that was written in the comments section of the newspaper.

The title is WHY I SPOILED MY BALLOT

On Monday night (Oct. 25th) I placed my vote for mayoral candidate and spoiled my vote for councillor(s) and trustee. The latter action was a political statement. One’s decision to vote for no one is just as politically important as one’s decision to vote for someone. It is a clear statement that the particular voter has chosen no one, regardless of their varying reasons.
Spoiling a ballot is not just a rejection of the candidates, but also a rejection of voter apathy. Unlike not voting at all, it shows engagement with the political process, regardless of the voter’s disengagement with the individual candidates.
And as the number of spoiled ballots increases, so does the message that they send. In the 40% of Torontonians who didn’t vote in the last election showed up on Monday and spoiled their ballots, the message to politicians and government would be clear. We are engaged in democracy, but not with the candidates.

I am one for speaking up for truth and what I realized when I voted that even if I came and spoiled a vote (which in a sense I did for I only voted for 1 of the 3 choices I was allotted for councillor) everything is done electronically today. WHO REALLY KNOWS AND WHO REALLY CARES. The people at the voting station only want to make sure that the ballot is secretive and is accounted for properly. The only person who knows the nature of my actions is ME.

As a mother of two boys I am committed to making changes for the betterment of my children and all children. What do I mean? Canada, like many of the industrialized countries are facing some real challenges; ones that are NOT being addressed by the Canadian government: issues related to aging population – rising health care costs, CPP and Pensions and the potential lack of, Environmental Issues – fresh water, reliance on petroleum, Lack of support for innovation and creativity for young entrepreneurs, NO ACCOUNTABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY by our MPs (members of parliament) for their actions, especially when they are spending OUR MONEY.

I have begun a youth movement, www.voicesofyouth.ca which is about hearing the voice of our youth. These young kids still need to be guided and mentored. I am looking to bridge a gap between the older and younger generations with a mentoring program; begin to build a mutually beneficial relationship in which policies can be implemented to benefit both sides – younger and older generations.

It is time to say ENOUGH and many people feel this way. The time has come to STAND UP AND MAKE OUR VOICES KNOWN AND HEARD. There are so many platforms for you to do this because of social media. I plan on tapping into all of them however Facebook in particular. You will find a fan page shortly where I want to engage the youth. I have my own children so I can ask them directly however there are many of you our there that have a voice and need to make it heard and known. Together we can really make a difference – really TELL THE POLITICIANS THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE – force them to walk their talk and be accountable and responsible.

While I am the ‘protective mama’ I also realize that approaching this with honey and not as a pit bull will be more effective. Anger has been a driver for me but I need to take that and fuel it in a more productive manner.

I will ask you to go to this page (when it is done) and pass it around. Right now the strength will be in numbers.

I say once again, let’s encourage the change and teach our children to challenge the existing systems to determine how effective these systems in place are really being today and then for their future. Let’s guide them on how to make the changes they want and begin to create the world that they want handed down – not the one we are imposing on them.

Have a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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