Why I am choosing not to vote

I’ve had this discussion with several other people who all seem to think I’m ludicrously immature. I try to keep an open mind and leave room for people to persuade me. I am choosing not to vote. I’m not going to walk to the polling station and decline my ballot. I’m going to do whatever I would normally do with my life on every other day.

I have no interest in voting because

1. I don’t believe it will make a difference (this falls victim to the tragedy of the commons argument)
2. I haven’t done the research necessary to do a responsible vote.
3. I don’t believe that I have time to do enough research to ascertain who to vote for because
3.a) I am uneducated on the state of affairs in Ontario
3.b) I suspect most of the platforms thrown at us are pandering anyways 
4. My vote is a poor measure of who is (more) qualified to be in office. For this I assume that each candidate is similar enough in terms of an ability to not run the province into the ground. 
5. Even if my vote did have an effect of some kind (I’m still thinking poor return on effort here) I have no realistic way to know what effect it will have in the end. 

Now I know I’m going way against public sentiment on this one. Pretty much nobody has heard me say I’m choosing willful apathy and said, “you know what? I condone your choice.” 

Some common arguments:

1.The outcome will affect you. Yes, but not in any way that I will find to be predictable based on platforms that a) I haven’t researched and b) I’m not qualified to comment on or pretend to understand. 
2. People fought for your right to vote! Actually, what they fought for is my right to vote or not vote as I see fit. The beauty of our political climate is all I get for my willful apathy is the disapproving glares of my friends and family. If I choose to forfeit my 1 in 4 millionths of a say (I’m estimating that) in several different people I have no knowledge of nor interest in, I can thank the people who fought for democracy by enjoying the fact I’m not going to be murdered or jailed for this. 
Another variation includes “people in the world wish they could vote”. Good for them, hopefully their political climate can one day be favourable to the rights we take for granted today. It also happens to be irrelevant (much like the children starving in Africa, eat your food thing). 

The main reason I am not bothering to vote or to even decline my ballot is because I don’t believe the effect my vote will have is worth the effort. The second reason is I have faith that any leader will do their best without being allowed to make any absolutely detrimental mistakes.

Disagree with my opinion? let me know, I’m always open to a good discussion.

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2 Comments

  1. While I do disagree with much of this your #2 point of “common arguments” does make some sense – never really thought of it that way, in terms that our freedom is to have the option to vote. Some exercise it – I did – and some choose not to. Not sure how I feel about the wilfully uninformed argument, though I suppose that its a far better option than voting incompetently or spoiling a ballot.

    This is interesting because in my household my mom has always voted and my Dad never votes. When I asked him about it, he simply said his policy was “don’t vote, don’t complain” and that essentially no matter who is running the province it is up to YOU to determine your life’s outcome (my dad is from a working class background and not a self-made millionaire, btw. He’s also an athiest, which is sort of relevent). Its an interesting was of living your life that I never thought of – don’t fully agree with it, but interesting enough. But going off the point of “don’t vote, don’t complain”, thats something I can totally appreciate – I don’t like it when people always complain about “the system” and whatnot but are unwilling to take any action towards changing it. But if there are those out there who are content with living their lives as best they can and not being bothered by the political climate at all, there’s something I can respect about that.

    Sort of diverted from your points but figured I should put my two cents in. Cheers!

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