Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers for the past four decades, give or take a few months.

Odd Thoughts: Grow up and vote for Langley, if not for yourself

Not voting damages everyone’s democracy, not just yours

By Bob Groeneveld

.

So.

The election is on Monday.

And you just don’t know what to do.

You’d like to vote… but you don’t like any of them.

Well, duh! Of course you don’t like any of them. They’re politicians.

You’re not supposed to like any of them. Not if you have a brain.

That’s how the real world works.

But here’s another thing about how the real world works: you don’t have to like people to accept that they are a necessary part of how the real world works.

And that’s politicians.

So, grow up, quit acting like a millennial, and get the job done.

You have to vote.

You have to choose the ne’er-do-well who is the least ne’er-do-wellest of the bunch.

Some people will tell you that because it is your right to vote, it is also your right not to vote.

Wrong!

Others will tell you that it is a privilege to be able to vote, and they will plead with you to vote, but if you don’t… oh, well.

In fact, voting is neither a right nor a privilege. It’s a responsibility. It is a requirement to maintain democracy.

If you abrogate your responsibility to vote, you damage democracy. And that’s not just your democracy that you’re damaging, it’s mine and everyone else’s, too.

It’s like smoking. You’re not just fouling your own air, you’re messing up the air that everyone needs.

Canada ought to enact a law similar to ones in a number of other progressive democratic countries, requiring every able citizen to vote. Don’t vote? Then pay a fine!

You don’t like your choices? Waaa!

Sometimes the world doesn’t bow down and get perfect for you. Elections can be like that, and often are. Dissatisfaction is not a new phenomenon.

Especially in ridings like Langley-Aldergrove, where everyone believes that one party – in this case the Conservative Party – has a stranglehold on the outcome, all the parties may put less effort into securing good local candidates.

Frankly, the Conservatives would probably win here if they had a fence post on the ballot.

Or maybe not…

Look to the west, in the Cloverdale-Langley City riding, where the winds of climate denial have shifted towards the centre of the political spectrum.

Can those winds shift further still?

Can they shift in Langley-Aldergrove?

Do you want them to shift further? Or do you want them to shift back?

Do you believe Canada has a responsibility to citizens of the world? Or just to ourselves?

Do you believe that we are “our brother’s keeper”… or that everyone should just keep to themselves?

These are choices that you can make by voting – and admittedly, you might not see a “best” choice in front of you, so you may need to choose the least worst.

You may or may not effect change by voting on Monday.

But all you can do by not voting is to damage the democracy that you may decide you want later… when you finally grow up.

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