Democracy is a great way for society to decide who steers the ship.
Individually, voters are given an equal amount of power to collectively decide upon a leader.
Heading into an election, there are several relevant questions voters can ask themselves before casting their ballot. For example: Which candidate will be best for my riding? Which will best support my province/country? Who would most benefit me personally if elected?
To any individual voter these three questions can each yield a different candidate as the answer. But voters with such dilemmas simply address their personal philosophy and decide on one.
Most political philosophies are in favour of societal progress in one way or another, but, unfortunately, some are not.
If your vote is contingent upon the questions, “Who has the prettiest lawn signs?” or “Which candidate pounded the most plastic signs into the ground?”, please refrain from participating in any election. As an uneducated voter, you will be paying more patriotic homage by staying home.
If you’ve taken the initiative to look through a newspaper, chances are you were an informed voter on Tuesday; so my apologies if I am preaching to the choir.
Nobody says democracy isn’t a giant popularity contest, because it is. It’s unfortunate that competing political parties are forced to participate in the signage game, knowing they’ll be eclipsed by their rivals if they don’t. Then again, too many politicians credit their electoral success on their strategic placement of plastic lawn signs. In fact, the group that benefits most from the use of these signs is probably the company that makes them.
As a high school student, my peers would refer to election campaigns as “lawn sign kicking season.” With the utmost respect for democracy, I refrained from participating, thinking lawn signs were a vital part of an election.
My self-righteous boycott of this teenage mischief has since been reconsidered. Interesting to note that teenagers pay tax on everything they buy, but they’re not eligible to vote on how that tax is spent. Their entertainment options are limited, which is why they often spend weekends congregating on public land; the same land which occupies thousands of wasteful plastic signs. I can especially appreciate the non-partisanship in their work; they don’t seem to kick more signs from one party over any other.
You should vote for is the person you feel to be the strongest candidate. Not the guy who represents your favourite colour, and not the person whose face was printed on the litter your neighbour decided to staple to his/her lawn.
It would be nice if the victorious Members of Legislation Assembly ban the shoddy political practice before the next election; but it’s unlikely.