Monday, December 8, 2008

Voting: from blues to bliss

Today, I voted in Quebec's provincial election today. A day of depressing thoughts was transformed, after voting, into a smug sense of satisfaction and gratitude.

Elections usually make me depressed. It's not the voting part; it's that elections remind us about the politicans whom I find so distasteful that I generally prefer to ignore them. Here in the province of Quebec, our government is 2 years into its mandate. Our premier decided he didn't like leading a minority government and that now was a good time to call an election to try for a majority government. How wonderful! We're about to head into difficult economic times, and our leadership apparently has no better idea on how to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars than an utterly unnecessary election. Yet out of a sense of duty, off I went to vote.

Often something happens on election day, and this time was no exception. Sometimes it happens before marking my ballot, sometimes after, but once again my election epiphany came. Voting is such a privilege. I can't swing a cat without hitting someone for whom voting is or was a matter of life and death. Why did my grandparents flee their country in the middle of the night? What about my fellow volunteer mentioned in my previous post?

Maybe I don't like my politicians, but it sure is a nice feeling that every few years I have a chance to let them know what I think about them. And when I cast my vote, no matter how I vote, I won't get blacklisted or imprisoned. My politicians - those whom I often so dislike - want me to vote, even if it's not for them.

(Thoughts on frigid winter-cycling today are on my other blog.)

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