Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I LOVE voting.

I went to my local vote-goes-here establishment this morning on the way home. There is some kind of law, I imagine, making sure that the campaign signs are kept a certain distance away from the vote-goes-here establishment. Which means that for the three hundred yards leading up to the boundary, there are dozens, even hundreds, of campaign signs crammed together for maximum exposure. The theory being, I suppose, that most of the people who go out to vote leave their house without a thought in their head, and make their snap decision as to whom they will vote for at the very last second, as they step into the booth and actually read the names of the four candidates for the first time ever. The theory, I suppose, is that if you have four hundred signs up in the block leading up to that booth, this silly muddle-headed voter will be fooled into thinking he actually knows your guy when he steps into the booth. Lord, I sure hope this isn't the case.

In my neighbourhood, only two parties used the pepper-the-neighbourhood-with-signs tactic around the vote-goes-here place. The Liberals and the Conservatives. Well, I showed them. I voted for neither. Take that, lawn signs! Then I take my ballot, unfold it, go behind the cheap little cardboard screen, put an X in the Green Party box, then I fold the ballot up the same way it came to me, and return it to the woman at the desk. She rips off a small piece and hands it back to me, so I can put it in the box myself. This seems to me like a lot of effort. Couldn't I just go into the little screened area, check a box, and drop the ballot in? I mean, I only get one. Or maybe even walk back to the lady at the desk so she knows I didn't steal the ballot and run off to photocopy it. I could put it in the box in front of her. What's with that little ripped piece of paper? What's that for? What's happening here? Ah, whatever. I'm done. Now I sit hoome and watch TV.

Of course, with my hours, I can't possibly watch this whole election. In fact, I think that no matter what your hours, very few people could watch the whole thing. Lloyd Robertson is planning to go past 2 in the morning with this coverage. Maybe I can catch the tail end. The big finish. The dramatic, come-from-behind Bloc Quebecois minority government victory. And frankly, this is one I want to watch. Like a big football game, but with more at stake. And I will root for people. Like football. And against people. Like football. (In football, when two teams I hate - say, the Cowboys and Raiders - play each other, I still watch, but I cheer for injuries.) And that is what I will be doing tonight. In a race that, really, could go one of three ways, there will be actual drama on election day for the first time in a while. At least, the first time I can remember.

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