The audacity of ennui

I was a landed immigrant so couldn’t vote in federal and provincial elections until I became a Canadian citizen in the early 1990s. Since then I have voted at every opportunity. 

I voted for Bob Rae in Ontario my first election. The one the NDP lost. I ran into him once in Halifax and told him that I had actually voted for him, and he said without missing a beat, “oh, so you’re the guy.”

I voted for Chretien in ‘93 and ‘97 and then maybe the one after that; they blur together. I started voting NDP for a while federally. In N.S., I voted Dexter the time he won and the time he lost.

I almost didn’t vote last time provincially because I was uninspired by the three candidates for premier. As much as I personally believe that McNeil is simply a taller Doug Ford, I might have voted for him (Stockholm Syndrome I guess) if the Liberal in my riding wasn’t so incompetent. This guy would go on to write a letter to Jimmy Kimmel because Rob Lowe made a joke about the Halifax Explosion. That’s my representative. Sigh.

This federal election campaign has been dreadful. No one excites me and I straight-up fear two of them. “Fear” might be an overstatement. I’m an aging, straight white guy: I personally will be fine whoever wins. My taxes might go up or down a little but none of my rights will be threatened other in that what threatens one of us threatens us all kind of way. I think the word for this is “privilege.”

So I’m stuck. The only things I’ve learned this campaign is that people of the same sex should only get married if they believe a dog’s tail is its fifth leg and how common wearing blackface was in those backward times of the early 1990s.

I’m not that happy with our Jazz Singer prime minister, though the Liberal MP in my riding is excellent so that’s in Jolson’s favour. I actually voted NDP last time, because I’m a single-issue voter, electoral reform, and I wasn’t dumb enough to think if a Liberal won, he would ever dismantle first-past-the-post. I mean, come on, it was 2015 after all.

I think that electoral reform would solve, or at least more likely solve, whatever your pet issue is. Any form of proportional representation, to pick one alternative, would be more responsive and responsible in the democratic sense of the word than what we have now.

The fear is that proportional representation would give fringe parties a voice in national affairs, something I was reminded of when I watched, or more accurately, ignored, the national leaders debate featuring that mainstream candidate Maxime Bernier, everyone’s favourite anti-antifascist.

Even though, the only party that would have instituted electoral reform last time lost, I wasn’t upset with the results of the last federal election. But I wasn’t over the moon, either. And now I feel like if I vote for someone other than Eddie Cantor I’m going to end up electing the male Kellie Leitch.

Some people say they will vote Green. To me the Green Party are just Conservatives who happen to put their bottles in a blue bag and their compost in the green bin. And the NDP? I kind of like them, but I think it would be just as effective to write in Jill Stein. And Bernier? You’d see him in a “Got Milk?” ad before I ever put an X by his candidate’s name.

So it looks like Aladdin and his team then. And on Oct. 21, I’ll watch The Good Doctor followed by a football game, and skip the fawning self-congratulatory commentaries about how power has once again been handed over peacefully, without tanks in the street, blah, blah, effin’ blah. Which of course, is my right. Or should I say, privilege.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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