As many other citizens aged 18+ across Canada recently, I have contracted a small case of elections fever. I was so excited for the chance to vote in an election where something could actually change this time around. For example, the man running for the Liberal party in my riding has been the elected candidate since 1997. Everyone I know votes for him, and he does a good job. But now, no one wants the Liberal party leader, Michael Ignatieff, to run the country, so they are saying sayonara to Mr. Loyal Riding Leader in favour of the Conservative riding chap. I certainly don't know anything about him or where he came from, and I don't really believe that anyone else does either, but they have all decided that they care more about their vote towards the Prime Minister than they do about who runs their riding.
Personally, I hate the fact that everyone says they would rather "throw their vote away on the Green Party", because they seem like the underdog who never gets his bone. I don't know how Elizabeth May would do in office (after the shock wore off, of course), but no one else does either and we will never know until we start taking the party seriously. And why not have a woman in office? A refreshing change in this young voter's eyes. In any case, I didn't get my way but I am certainly relieved that Ignatieff is not running our country.
I have heard some of the young voters say (via twitter, etc.) that they are voting NDP based on the fact that Jack Layton is attractive to them. I just don't know what to do with this information. But in any case, I'm glad to see another party in the running for the money other than the Liberal and Conservative we know so well. Whether this is based solely on his (questionable) good looks or otherwise.
There was a lot of buzz over the fact that the Conservative party used the NDP as the basis of their attack in a commercial. As anyone with a television in Canada knows, the Liberals and Conservatives are constantly taking shots at each other this way, so I guess that the Conservative Party feels that the NDP is so much of a threat that they need some attention too. Jack Layton must have been rejoicing when he saw this ad.
That's a pretty good photoshopping of Layton "whispering lovingly" into Gilles Duceppe's ear. How quaint. I think I'll send it out as my christmas card this year.
Anyway, so I figured that if I was already in this deep, that I would just go all the way, and I got a job on elections day (May 2). I opted to be a Poll Clerk at a high school in my riding, and it was somewhat eventful. I certainly got an inside look at the voting process, and a little bit of stupidity on the part of our dear voting public. Out of the 190 ballots I received with my Deputy Returning Officer, only one rejected ballot - all of the parties were "x"ed off. Why would you vote if you're just going to check off everyone's name on the ballot? Even if we were able to count that ballot, it would just raise everyone's standing by the same amount, therein doing nothing. In any case, your voice was not heard by anyone except myself, my DRO, and anyone reading this blog. Hope you feel like you made a difference to your political representation.
There was actually quite a varied demographic of people doing the tasks that I had come to do, such as some 60 year old ladies, other young voters such as myself, and even some middle-aged people. I guess everyone was interested in seeing how these things work.
After two hours of training, twelve hours of sitting at a desk crossing names off a list, and a very intense hour of the Ballot Counting Extravaganza, I think that although some say this election was a waste of money, it allowed me to benefit both intellectually and monetarily. I had a good time watching our election system at work, and I would probably do the job again. I'm calling another election!