A month ago on this day the 2011 Canadian Federal Election took place. It was the first election where I was eligible to vote. With me being enthralled by politics I couldn’t sit by and not vote my first potential time, so I headed off to the ballot box with a new feeling; a sense of involvement in Canada’s electoral process.
Not being a supporter of Harper left me with two choices I considered; voting NDP or liberal. I cast my vote for liberal, perceiving they would be the major opposition to Harper in my riding, and went back home to watch the results unravel.
The results started flashing on the board; conservatives were leading, as expected, with the NDP sitting close behind. I became hopeful; a Harper minority and NDP opposition? Hell yeah. However, this hope quickly lost its passion; while the NDP became the official opposition Harper gained a majority government.
As a child I watched the seats go up and down on the tracker as the results were being returned and waited to hear the final news. However, by voting for the first time I was more focused on the process, and scrutinized much more.
What I discovered was a broken electoral system; Harper attained 40% of the common vote, but was provided with a majority government. This is due to our representative democracy; we elect individuals in our own riding whom we have never met, will most likely never meet, and who we cannot ever fully trust. The general votes do not count; it is the particular riding’s attained by parties that matters . The party that gains the most ridings wins the election. In this case, Harper attained more than half of the ridings which resulted in a Conservative Majority Government.
An issue with democracy is that it is vulnerable to control by the majority, whom may be incorrect and flawed in their thinking. This election not only lived up to this ideal, but went passed it; a minority became the leaders of a nation.
The day of the election I wrote this on my facebook wall, and I still stand by it: