None of the above…

I was reading an article on CBC about the Youth Vote in Canada, and why so many people 18-24 don’t vote. The author states that she doesn’t have the interest or inclination to find out the differences between the parties, because as she puts it:

The politicians stand as different brands of toothpaste; different packaging, different flavours, but of the same basic ingredients.

And to a certain extent I agree with her. Except that certain brands of toothpaste leave a bad taste in your mouth, and you would never chose them among the other brands, maybe you’d even put up with it if someone else had done the shopping, but it’s not what YOU wanted (or thought you wanted).

It’s this part that really intruigeud me

For years, I didn’t vote because I didn’t feel responsible enough to do it; I couldn’t be bothered to sit there and figure out what each party was saying. It was too complicated, mind-numbingly boring, and it didn’t appear to impact my life directly. Perhaps wrongly, I determined that an uneducated vote was worse than not voting at all.

And I agree, an uneducated vote is sort of pointless, as is voting for your “favourite” among equally repungant options. But, that’s what a purposely spoiled ballot is for, isn’t it? To tell who ever is out there that you took the time to learn but that you didn’t like ANY of the options.

I honestly believe that one of the options on every ballot should be something along the lines of “I do not believe any of the candidates is a satisfactory option”. I think it will increase voter turn out. People will be able to say they tried. If this were to show up on the ballot, I wonder what percentage of the total would be for none of the above.

10%? 20? 30?? More?? Don’t you think THAT would get someone’s attention? Maybe multiple someones?

I know I’m going to vote, or at least try to. But who knows, I might leave my ballot blank this year.

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