Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Experience as a Poll Clerk

I was a poll clerk for this past election. A 16-hour day for around minimum wage it wasn't worth it for the monetary reward, but I enjoyed it for the grounding experience it gave me.

I know that having a Masters degree and working for the government at the national office I can get caught up in the ivory tower/Ottawa bureaucrat. Even socializing with people who watch CPAC for fun or people who enjoy dinner parties, I have had a major wake-up call. I am not an ordinary Canadian.

Despite Jack Layton abusing the "ordinary Canadian" phrase, I did see these ordinary Canadians that politicians were referring to.

And while yes, the current economic situation is a "buying opportunity" for me, the reality is, it isn't for many people.

So would I do it again? I would probably be a deputy-returning officer (DRO) as I could handle the responsibility.

I encourage everyone to take part in the democratic process more than dropping your ballot into a box.

With a voter turnout of less than 60 per cent, I might have to agree with Andrew Coyne, that Our Electoral System is Broken:

If we must have five-party politics, let them at least be parties with real differences, and national appeal. Away with the system that guarantees the Bloc two-thirds of the seats in Quebec on the strength of little more than one-third of the vote. Away with the ghettos of Conservative Alberta, or Liberal Toronto, where it is scarcely worth campaigning, so predictable are the results. Away with "strategic voting," and other attempts to tell people they may not vote for the party they support, but must vote against the party they fear. Away with the disgraceful situation of a party winning almost a million votes, as the Greens did this time out, and getting zero seats.

1 Comments:

Blogger stageleft said...

What possible connection is there between voter turn out and the number of parties or candidates there are to vote for?

If the parties, the candidates, or the process, were actually meaningful to Canadians, and Canadians believed their participation in the process would actually make a difference, they would be there in larger numbers and making their choices.

Sat Oct 18, 03:19:00 PM EDT  

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