Elling Lien spoils your ballot and your appetite.
PRETENDING MY VOTE COUNTS
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little bit of a voter’s hangover. And it’s not because of the six tequila shooters I chased my ballot down with on Tuesday.
Well, maybe a little bit of the tequila is to blame.
Anyway, that’s not my point.
The real reason I’m feeling bad is retroactive voter apathy.
Voting for anyone but Mr. John Q.P.C. in this David and Goliath election has the same kind of feeling one has when you lie on your back in a field and stare up at the night sky. It’s the feeling you get when you realise you’re on a puny planet orbiting around a relatively puny star in a relatively obscure section of the universe which will exist only for a finite amount of time. Then you start to feel the earth rotating beneath you and you feel a little sick.
It felt a bit like that when I voted on Tuesday.
The Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election system is what’s called “first past the post” or “winner takes all.” There are voting areas, and there are people in that area you vote for. The person with the most votes, wins. The party with the most elected members gets control of the government.
If the person you voted for lost, you might as well toss your ballot in the trash because it isn’t going to have any influence over who represents you.
But there is always another way. In fact, Ontario is having a referendum on electoral reform—something called a “mixed member proportional” (MMP) representation system.
Basically, if they adopt this system, they’d have two votes on their ballot—one vote for your local candidate (just like we do) plus one vote for the party of your choice. Half of the members of the legislature would be elected in single-member districts, and the other half are voted by a party list. Variations on this voting system are in use in Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and other countries.
So why do we stick to first past the post? Ask one of the 47 elected PC candidates.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Ontario. Depending on how the next few years go, you might expect to see a referendum like that coming our way—but with any one party holding 96% of the seats, I doubt it will come any time soon.
Read more about MMP at voteformmp.ca
PRETENDING MY VOTE COUNTS
Good news! Rabbittown Theatre’s ongoing sketch comedy production “Election 07: Pretending Your Vote Counts” has been held over for another show on October 13. It’ll be a post-election blowout for sure. Showtime is 8pm Oct 6 and 13, and tickets are $17.50. Call 739-8820 for info.
In the meantime, be sure to check out the YouTube videos of independent candidate I, Guzzwell (Neil Butler) as he was hitting the campaign trail: tinyurl.com/2unruh
YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES COUNT!
Way more fun than provincial elections, The Scope’s Best of St. John’s readers’ survey is back. Go online and cast your votes for your favourite people, places and things in the city at bestofstjohns.ca
Vote or die is right!
QUOTE OF THE MOMENT
“How popular am I? Well put it this way: Leading scientists say that if Elvis and The Fonz had a baby, I’d be that baby.”
— Mark Critch impersonating Danny Williams in a recent episode of This Hour has 22 Minutes.