A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

16 September 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Polling Booth

Only it's not terribly funny.

This is in response to the post over at Raincoaster's. Go watch that video. It's funny, and serious. No, really, go watch it. I'll wait right here 'till you get back.


Wow. That was pretty quick. Did you watch the whole thing?

No, no, seriously, go and watch it. All of it. Yeah, yeah, I'll still be here. I have nothing more important on my slate today.


Okay, so ...

My friend Nom was at poker last night. I like Nom, he's funny, creative, and I take comfort in knowing that although his boyish good looks could get him laid anywhere even while I stood at the bar desperately pumping drinks into co-eds, many people on intial contact think he's gay.

During our conversation, he said (just "said", not "shamefacedly confessed," nor "brokenly wept") that he had never voted.

The man is thirty-eight years old. Thirty-£µ©λing -eight, and he's never cast a vote in any country, at any level.

A The response I should have given was: "So you're just a £µ©λing toob, then? You consume, you excrete, and in between you do what?"

He brought up the same old careworn excuses:

Excuse one:
"Well they all look the same to me. They're all just politicians."

Hey, Mr. Toob--politics is the way the civilized world gets $#17 done with a minimum of blood shed and a minimum level of balance. If you have a better way, one that actually works, then I await the revelation.

Of course they're politicians--they're trying to attract your attention, you moron! They have to preen and strut before the cameras. And because you, Joe Toob, have the attention span of a stunned penguin, they have to translate complex, nuanced positions into three-second sound bites.

Excuse number two:
"Well, I'm just not sufficiently well-informed to make a judgement about these things."

Whose fault, exactly, is it that you have the political awareness of a concussed hamster?

So you're willing to let other people decide your future? People who may know less than you do but aren't so £µ©λing apathetic?

There's an easy way to correct your knowledge defecit:
1) Get yourself a daily paper--I don't care which. Even the Nazional Post would do--their straight journalism is often pretty decent. It's their columnists who need better medication regimes.

2) Watch a half-hour newscast or listen to the radio.

3) Or even--have you heard? There's this thing called the "innernet" or something, I bet you could find loads of political reporting there.

... Okay, so maybe you should stay away from the internet until you develop some instinct for fact versus opinion in news reporting. After all, FOX is out here, and it's pretty out there.

Develop some positions, develop some awareness. Develop some spine and take some £µ©λing responsibility.

Hell, if you must, just listen to me! I mean, my biases are pretty up-front, and we're not politically dissimilar.

For a good metaphor, failing to vote is like asking the other players at the poker table to play your hand, with your money.

You don't have the right to vote. You have the duty to do it. To your country, your fellow citizens, and to yourself.

For Nom, set to theTragically Hip's "38 Years Old".

He first came of age, in 1988
There was an election, and a buncha candidates
He spaced on the couch, watched some Gilligan's Isle
And whoever won, he didn't notice for awhile

Same poster on the lamp-post
Same speeches and stuff
Like to do his part, but he don't know enough
It might help him if he had the Cliff's Notes
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote

In 1993, he'd just turned 24
When the TV told him it was coming once more
Cast no ballot, didn't know enough about
Which bum to vote in, and which bum to vote out

Same faces on the billboards, the same candidate
All vying for a chance to command the ship of state
He doesn't really care, who wants to steer the boat,
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote

Now it's 2008, and the stakes are pretty high
If we keep spewing carbon then we're all gonna fry
He stayed at home, watched the "Idol" on TV
"Hey if it's goin' shitty then you can't blame me."

Same garbage in the water, same crud in the sky
'Cause some other folks voted for the wrong kind of guy
He's at best apathetic, at worst a Judas goat
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote
He's 38 years old
Never cast a vote

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At 11:02 a.m., Blogger Lori said...

Actually, you should throw the poker analogy at may stick.

At 4:10 p.m., Blogger Silverstar said...

Amen, brother, testify! OOPS! Sorry, didn't meant to channel Sarah Palin.

At 7:54 p.m., Anonymous PJ said...

I loved that video clip so much, I sent the link to a lot of American friends.

At 4:35 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:40 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Send it to Canadians, too.

In the last US election, almost 60% of eligible voters turned out, according to the WaPo. But infoplease and some other resources drop that to 55, and put 2000 at forty-something.

In Canada's last election in 2006 we got about 65%. But we need more people to come out and vote. If not every eligible voter votes, then how do we know it's a democracy?

The one nice thing about having dorks running both countries is that it motivates people on both sides to vote.


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