Lesser of evils

When I was younger, I was adamant that if you didn’t vote, you lost your right to complain about the government.  I was pretty hardline on this.

If you know anything about my voting habits now, you’ll know that I’ve softened on this.

By all means, do go out and investigate the options for your vote.  Make an informed decision.  But, if after taking all the details in, there isn’t a candidate/party combination that meets whatever criteria you have to make a ballot box choice, not showing up is acceptable.

Is drawing a penis on your ballot a better way to protest?  I guess.  In the end, your protest vote still falls on the ears of the politicians that were able to gain the confidence of 35% of the total of the 60% that voted and claim that they have a “CLEAR MANDATE FROM THE ELECTORATE.”

Guess what?  You certainly don’t have a mandate.  You’ve got less than HALF the votes in the country.  You (and your asshat fellow leaders) gamed the system such that you were able to alienate 40% of the population, and since you only need to be one vote better than the next asshole, you found a way to win.  This is NOT a mandate.

Wait, but if we had ballot boxes full of penises, then maybe we’d see real change, you say.

I doubt it.

A (generally) declining voter turnout should spurn action, but it doesn’t.  Why does such a large portion of the population need to show up to draw a penis for action to start happening?  I think it has something to do with the fact that our democracy isn’t that mature, I’ll grant that.  But, with the rash of minority governments, it was looking like Canada was going to start moving towards a more collaborative Legislature, where parties would have to work together (in the interest of the electorate, shocking, I know) in order to get things done.

Will the government be a little more unstable?  Yes, especially in the early years of the transition as the parties figure out how to work in the framework of the new-normal.  The way Canada (and Alberta) needs to evolve.  One-party dominance over the legislature is not what is best for all.

But, you say – how does this all relate to your premise that not voting is the same as a penis ballot?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve changed my mind halfway though this post.  I know that I feel that not voting is a valid response to the system.  That’s part of freedom – the freedom to not exercise the right to vote.

But, I’ll tell you this: voting for someone that you feel is the ‘lesser’ of two evils is still voting for evil and you SHOULD NOT SETTLE.

Daycare Referendum

Beginning October 26th at 9:00 am until October 30th at 4:00 pm, the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union will be opening an online referendum. For Edmonton Campus students, there is one question to vote upon.

From the ULSU Website:


“Do you authorize the Students’ Union to invest $200,000 from the Students’ Union Building (SUB) Fund for the Capital requirements of an on-campus Daycare facility, with the understanding that this will not lead to any increase in the SUB Fund fees; and
Do you further authorize the Students’ Union to contract with the University of Lethbridge to maintain this contribution in the Daycare for as long as it operates, and in the event the Daycare closes, the capital contribution transfers from the Daycare back to the Students’ Union”?

(All U of L students, on all campuses, in all programs will be eligible to vote on this referendum question)

For More Information:
The Daycare Action Committee will be running a yes campaign and you can find more information at http://people.uleth.ca/~dac

I urge all Edmonton Campus students to vote NO to this question.

Why Should I Vote No?

All students at the Edmonton Campus should be opposed to this usage of our fees because we do not recieve any benefit from this action.

The ULSU collects a number of fees from Edmonton Campus students, who do not see any benefit from a portion of these fees. Edmonton Campus students’ fees are used to subsidize the activities of the main campus.

Fee Breakdown

  • Operation Fee $21.27 (full time)/$10.43 (part time)
  • Building Fee $28.36 (full time)/$19.92 (part time)
    • The Building Fee is broken down to two components:
      • Health and Wellness Centre Construction Costs $15 (full time)/$ 7 (part time)
      • SUB Management $13.36 (full time)/$5.92 (part time)
  • Capital Replacement Fee (CRF) $5.35 (full time)/$2.98 (part time)

While the SU does provide some services to the Edmonton Campus, clearly are not receiving the same benefit from our fees as a Main Campus student. For example, we pay $15/$7 per semester to pay for the construction of a Health and Wellness Centre that we CANNOT use. It is time for the Students of the Edmonton Campus to stand up and oppose this unfairness. If we all vote against this, we can send a message to Main Campus that we are not happy with how are fees are being spent.

What else can I do?

If you’d like to help in lobbying the SU to examine the fee assessment for our students, I invite you to join the University of Lethbridge – Edmonton Campus Facebook group, comment on my Facebook note or on my blog (joshbazin.com), or send me an email joshua (dot) bazin (at) uleth (dot) ca.

Please forward this message onto your friends and classmates. Encourage them to vote NO for this question. Vote NO on October 26-30th.