An apology to the candidate

This is to apologize to Dan Bouchard for my remarks in the letter titled “Not voting could bring electoral change”. When I mentioned that a vote for the Green Party ends in the garbage, I expressed my frustration and anger with an archaic and inequitable electoral system that has a built-in barrier against much-needed new and fresh ideas to ever make it. There were over a million voters for the Green Party last time around whose democratic rights were trampled. It’s those rights that ended in the garbage can.

I was wrong: not voting will not bring about electoral change. Even if voter abstinence reaches 50 per cent, it will be interpreted by the “winners” as voter apathy, not as protest, and they will gladly continue forcing their agenda on a majority that hasn’t endorsed them. The only chance for all of us who want change is to drag ourselves to the polls and void our ballots with the message: “voided in protest”. Have scrutineers record these ballots and make sure the results receive the appropriate media coverage. This is our only chance.

It is too late in this campaign to organize such a movement, so I will vote Green. I respect Dan Bouchard’s efforts, his platform and his personal integrity. I have always voted Green and will do so again this time, even if another candidate might have a better chance to prevent a victory of Dan Albas, who will dance to the whip of Stephen Harper and his autocratic and polarizing methods.

I will do so as an act of mental hygiene and so I can live with myself. I encourage all of you who have planned to vote “strategically” to do so, too. Even if our system isn’t really democratic, let’s at least play as if it was.

Florian Maurer

 

Naramata