Friday, November 7, 2008

on voting

congratulations, world, on ousting bush. felicitations, americans, on electing a black man. may things turn out as well as you hope. (because, you know, he's secretly a marxist muslim arab terrorist who eats babies, but he won't reveal his true self until after he's sworn in.) (i'm kidding, people)
the only way nov 4 could have gone better is if prop 8 had been resoundingly defeated in california and i had won the lottery.

but i digress.

a few weeks ago we canadians had our federal elections. being the political junkie that i am, i was reading and talking and theorizing about the whole thing nonstop. i would have gone out and volunteered, but my son was sick, then my parents were here.
on the day of the elections my partner and i had a discussion on why voting is important. i consider it to be a duty and one of the most important things i can do. especially as a woman. i owe the women who fought and suffered so i could vote this much, as least.
but, he said, if everyone else is voting one way why even vote? if we vote with the crowd it makes no difference and if we vote against the flow it makes no difference. why bother?
i bumbled and stumbled and tried to articulate why we should always vote, but i didn't have the right words for it.

this past sunday i went to a bob dylan concert. his showmanship was mediocre at best, but the thrill of actually being there was looked like this.

in the middle of the concert, when the whole arena was clapping and screaming and whistling, i had an epiphany.

voting is like applause.
really, it makes no difference if i join in applause. i can clap or not, either way it's a deafening noise. you can choose not to clap, too, it's ok. but if everyone chooses not to clap, you don't get applause, do you? if everyone chooses to put their hands together for someone or something, something amazing and communal happens. so, fine: don't clap. don't vote. but you're just standing there like a douchebag while everyone around you is contributing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the congrats on the election. It has been a week, and I still can't stop smiling....