Nov 19, 2011

Voting just because i Can

I just voted. For whom isn't important (really, it isn't read on). The important thing is that I got in my car after kids' bedtime, drove through a cold winter-starry night and did my civic duty. For really no other reason than it's my civic duty.

We only had one candidate for our area director position (and luckily I like him). And we had 10 candidates vying for 9 school board positions (in a public school system my kids don't even attend). So very little was riding on my vote.

But we live in a country where we can vote, freely, safely, and sometimes even to some effect. And there's no more important way to protect that right than to exercise it. This is the first time I've ever voted without taking my children along, which I regret, but we still as a family cherish and honour that right and duty to vote. Even when it seems it doesn't matter.


  1. I hear what you are saying generally, but quite honestly, your take on school board politics feels cavalier to me.

    Public school board politics matter for everyone, regardless of private school, no kids, home schooling, etc. The impact of their decision spans out to so many aspects of our community.

    One of the criticisms that I am sensitive to from those in the public system who are advocating for change, is that when those who can afford it, leave the system, the pull out their energy to improve the system for all and it becomes a depleted creating a 2 tired system. I believe this is a legitimate concern, and so while my kid is at a private school, I make a conscious effort to read the local paper about decisions that are made in the public system and advocate for its well being in my own politics.

    Also, because you can choose to vote for as few as one candidate in the local school board positions (after researching I found I could only back 4 of the 10 candidate's perspectives), you can make your influence felt for those you truly support. Having one more progressive voice on the school board can make a difference if there is a split on a major vote about funding for example.

  2. I wasn't trying to trivialize public schools and school boards and voting for them. Just noting that my vote probably made very little difference since 9 out of 10 of them will get elected.

  3. Then I misunderstood the connection between your children not being in the public system and the idea that very little was riding on your vote.

    Still no need to underestimate your vote. Kevin and I voted for Jon Lefebure in the North Cowichan elections for mayor. He won by 22 votes (unofficial).

    When I consider how contentious school board politics have been this past year...major decisions about how to deal with the chronic underfunding by the provincial government have come down to vote by one person. It is pretty power stuff this pencil and paper.

    That is why both Kevin and I thought it was pretty unbelievable that no asked for or would look at our ID when we offered it at voting!

    Also, this kind of voting system actually gives you more power than first appears. For example, if you only vote for one candidate out of 9, you are not giving any votes to any of the other candidates as a sort of default, which has an impact on the big picture tallies.

  4. Amazingly, I also had to shove my ID under the volunteer's nose this time around! I thought it very odd...

    Rick, Jason and I also voted for the first time without our kids. And it felt as though something were missing.

  5. Well yes, I voted for 5 school board candidates, no doubt similar to your list, so they'll probably get alot more votes than the others, but once they're all sitting at the table together, will it matter that some got thousands of votes and one squeaked in last place with a handul of votes?

    Yes, I put my ID under their noses and they just looked confused. Is there really that little interest that they don't worry about fraud?