Since we have just observed the Civic Holiday, it might be a good time to make the case for something we’ve been mulling over for a while.

We think not voting might be the best option in the upcoming federal election.

We know, of course, that it’s everyone’s civic duty to vote, or so we have been told all our lives. However, does that axiom hold true when faced with a pathetic collection of people wanting to be elected (or re-elected) prime minister, and their equally sorry political parties?

We don’t believe that there is any duty to vote in such a situation.

In fact, not voting might be the best thing we can do as citizens.

Let’s consider the performance of Justin Trudeau as prime minister. Does he really deserve our votes to return to lead this nation?

No need to go into too much detail about Trudeau’s time as prime minister. It’s enough to mention dress-up time in India, SNC-Lavalin, strained relations with China, unbuilt pipelines, thousands of embarrassing selfies, and much more in a political hall of shame.

In ordinary times, Trudeau would have no chance of re-election, but these are not ordinary times because his main competition to be prime minister is Andrew Scheer. The main problem with Scheer is that most Canadians don’t know what he stands for, and the few clues that we have are worrisome that he is not on the same political wavelength as most of the country.

The other leaders of federal political parties have no chance to be elected prime minister, and are almost not worth wasting our time talking about.

Everyone knows Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party won’t be elected to lead this country because he has shown no indication he can even effectively lead his own party. In fact, he may lead the New Democrats to fourth place behind the Green Party.

Elizabeth May, the leader of said Green Party, obviously doesn’t want to become prime minister of Canada. Why else would she become leader of the Green Party? So she cannot be considered a serious contender.

Just out of fairness, we should mention uber conservative Maxine Bernier and his new People’s Party of Canada, and whoever may be leading the Bloc Quebecois these days. That’s all we are going to do, mention them.

So, with such a line-up of potential prime ministers, can it really be so strange that not voting should be considered as a serious option? Canadians shouldn’t really have to vote to elect MPs who will support and follow flawed leaders.

Not voting sends a message. In fact, we hope – hopelessly, no doubt – to see voter turnout below 50 per cent in the upcoming federal election. That would proclaim very clearly that Canadians are dissatisfied with the choices we have.

And that brings us to the political parties. A low voter turnout would tell the parties that, if they want our votes, they have to choose leaders who would make good prime ministers.

That lesson – if the political parties take it to heart – would be good for the country.


Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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  1. Disappointed in this editorial Paul. You can protest the lack of candidates by a number of ways. Take your ballot and return to election official by having ballot refused at the desk, take it and not vote or spoil it. Voting is still a right not offered in many countries without bloodshed. Take the time to vote or protest, but take the time. Early poll opening is the best time to avoid line ups generally.

  2. Yes, we should all vote. Unfortunately, most MPs are just puppets for their party leader so we need to vote for a party that is affordable to taxpayers and the least damaging to Canada. Trudeau is the worst PM is recent times on a spending spree with our tax dollars to benefit minority special interest groups both in and out of Canada, while neglecting our senior’s & veterans here in Canada. Let’s send a message to all politicians and vote Trudeau out!

  3. You’re wrong, Paul. Staying home only makes it easier for motivated special interests to dominate an election. Political parties don’t care as much as about voter turnout as they do about winning. If voter apathy/frustration makes it easier for parties to leverage narrow, special interests, they’ll do it. What kind of government will we have then? Unfortunately, it will be the government we deserve.

  4. Do we vote for ‘people’ or our representative?

    Ideally the representative at the Federal level takes our needs, wants, and desires for our Country to the Federal Parliament.

    Who s/he is and how good they are at administering to our needs is definitely a consideration. However, spoiling (the elections term for what you suggest) one’s vote will not really send a message unless more than 50% is achieved.

    Maybe there are better ways to make our Country strong and free.