We are now just a few weeks away from electing a new provincial government and I can count on one hand the number of people I have heard discussing politics and what could be new leadership in Manitoba.
While this would normally make me feel like a bad voter, I can’t help but feel sort of typical right now. I am the common man. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure.
I can’t even say that it is an overall election exhaustion after a record-long federal campaign last year. If anything there was more hype around that because everybody seemed to know Stephen Harper’s time was done.
It sounds like – and this is just from what I know about Greg Selinger’s reputation and the turmoil in the NDP ranks in recent years – that Manitoba could be shying away from electing the party again. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t followed any of the campaign to this point though.
But I don’t feel like such an outsider because the few times that I have casually asked around, the random folks I talked to couldn’t name the candidate in their area and didn’t even know when voting day is.
I have to keep asking myself: Am I a bad Manitoban for not paying attention and, quite frankly, not giving a rat’s fanny about politics anymore?
A part of me says it would be responsible to know what I’m getting into before I cast a vote, but another part of me has the disgruntled opinions of my dad which is a little more aggressive: They’re all liars and crooks making false promises so I’m not even going to waste my time voting for anybody. (While that is not a direct quote it’s essentially what he says anytime I ask if he voted in the current election.)
My rebuttal back to him is always, “If everybody who had that opinion didn’t vote then of course nothing will change. Our vote sends a message.”
But does it? Is this the first time I am considering not voting simply because my cynical view of mudslinging politics overshadows the potential importance of my vote in a democratic society?
List this potential voter as “undecided” – not about a particular party but as a participant.