Friday, October 29, 2004

Fun with the electoral process

In the runup to the U.S. presidential election (you are going to vote, right?) our collective inboxes are overflowing with various multimedia bits designed to toss a few laughs into the deadly-serious electoral proceedings.

The beauty of this is that we are, in the first place, allowed to poke fun at the process and the people who make it happen. If you want to slap a candidate’s face, you can. If you’d rather watch the 10 funniest campaign ads, click here and have a good time. This is precisely the kind of behavior that in some parts of the world would still get you shot. Yet here, it’s all considered part of the socio-political landscape.

With that in mind, an outfit called Boom Chicago has produced this really funny video about electronic voting machines in Florida. Its amusement is, in large part, derived from the fact that a part of your head believes, however remotely, that it could actually happen.

Laughs aside, if you are eligible to vote, I hope you’ll actually do so. No, it may not always be convenient. You may have better things to do on a Tuesday night, and you certainly don’t do it for money. But having a say in how you are governed is one of those intangible, priceless rights. It is not a given, however, for there are some – too many – people on the planet who would dearly love to take that right away from us. Over the generations, too many people have died to ensure that right stays precisely where it is: in our hands. For anyone to casually dismiss his/her participation in the process is, to me, thoroughly impossible to understand and, frankly, inexcusable.

Will I be voting on Tuesday? No.

Unless I am magically granted U.S. citizenship over the weekend, I’ll continue to watch this fascinating story from the sidelines, north of the border. Still, when it comes time for me to vote in my staid and stodgy country of Canada, rest assured you’d have to fight me off with a pool noodle to keep me from my appointment at the ballot box.

Whatever happens on Tuesday night, I hope all players on all sides of the political spectrum realize they are both individually and collectively part of this gloriously flawed process. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a hell of a ride, isn’t it?

4 comments:

Jamie said...

While I agree people SHOULD vote, if you are not keeping up with your government, does your vote really count? Uninformed voters SUCK!

Who are these undecideds? Why can't they make up their minds? Do we really care if they vote at all?

Ok, off the soapbox, and off to slap a candidate! WOO HOO!

Carmi said...

I probably should have expanded that. If you live in and benefit from a democratic society, your obligations extend beyond simply marking the ballot. You must also take the time to inform yourself sufficiently so that your vote actually has meaning.

It's a process, and one that stands the best chance of ensuring some sort of future standard of living for us all. We owe it at least something in return.

Tara said...

I can't wait until this is over. The negative ads, the bull, it's all getting on my nerves!!!

Stephane said...

If someone does not know who to vote for, I suggest they check out the documentary www.fahrenheit911.com/ from www.michaelmoore.com/.

I hope it will help!