Make the silent heard and the invisible seen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Half-million Canadians lost

Canadians are so lost in the political wilderness that we need a compass. Unfortunately, by some accounts, its giving the wrong directions.

We accuse our politicians of playing games, which has led Canadians to tune out of politics, which has contributed to declining voter turnout, which has... blah-blah-blah. Who gives a crap?

What do Canadians do, this nation that boasts of being among the top 10 countries for internet usage? We start playing games with a veritable tickle trunk of network toys, from Facebook oaths and apps, to the CBC Vote Compass. The internet is for porn and this is just one fetish – political porn on the world-wide-wank.

Who knew it was going to be so easy? It’s such a Canadian solution to the vexing problem of having to, you know, “know” the issues by following the daily romper room from Ottawa in the House of Commons. It’s so, like, boring to form your own opinion that isn’t about head-shots in hockey; and then, if that isn’t too much to expect, you know, being prodded and goaded to a polling station – WTF! - to vote- GAK! - for, like, the gazillionth time in, like, I dunno, 4 years, when there are way better things to do in a day that’s already so busy commuting, working, taking care of the kids, watching Dancing with the Stars 24/7-days-a-week; and you don’t know anything about politics, you’ve never voted in your life. Life is so hard being a 30-something Canadian.

Herein lies the problem. It’s not the politicians who piss me off. It’s you. Yea, you; I'm talking to you who haven’t read this far. You – the Canadian voter or, rather, the Canadian who does not vote. You know who you are. Lord only knows, there are enough of you. But, you’re not reading this because, well, because you’d be reading, and the Canadian who does not vote, does not read and does not think.

But now, from the network that brought you… Oh, *sigh*, I don’t know, name any old banal CBC show - The National - comes Vote Compass

If you're frustrated by feeling left out when conversation shifts unexpectedly, recklessly and bewilderingly to this election? If you've never voted, ever. If you're completely unaware of the issues. If you're living under a rock. If you've been hit in the head with a rock. If your cognition has been damaged by the concussion you received from an elbow-to-your-head standing in the beer line at the last hockey game. You’re not alone. Now you can know where you stand on the issues, know your opinion of the party leaders, and know what party to vote for.

Canadians have been falling all over themselves finding their political selves, discovering just how easy it is to bone-up on the issues, the leaders, the election and the party you’ll vote for, thanks to our nurturing Mother Corp – the CBC.

Have you done the Vote Compass, or as I like to call it, “Voting for Dummies”? Voting for Dummies is the election craze sweeping the nation., except Saskatchewan where, according to this tweet from the National Compost’s Stephen Maher, "A Facebook group has popped up of NDPers from Sask complaining about the CBC Vote Compass." It's called, CBC - Take Down the Bogus "Vote Compass." (At least people in Saskatchewan act on their complaints by voting.) And, as with all 1.0 versions, there's a glitch.

It takes less than 10 minutes to answer about 30 questions decided on by the CBC and a group of academics. Jeez, this has to be at least as good as an afternoon nap, or Power & Politics.

Let me be honest, because this election is about honesty, if nothing else – and it really is about nothing else. Honestly, if the truth be told – and it won’t be during this election. If the truth be told in the ads and debates and speeches, even by online trolls and shills and posing provocateurs, this election is about whether or not Stephen Harper is a douchebag. But I digress from the trending topic of this campaign that is not yet a week old. Not the aforementioned douchebag but the the Vote Compass.

If the CBC and a group of leading academics can’t devise a fair and balanced quiz that will show you where you hit the target closest to the respective parties, well, who can? At least one academic, one who is likely jealous because academics simply seethe with envy, thinks the Compass is flawed, causing "the survey to default to Liberal.". Add to that is the fact that so many Canadians who have taken to the trusty compass have been surprised by the result (in the interest of full disclosure, the federal parties that are in my ideological range are NDP, BQ, Green and Liberal), it’s no wonder the country is so far off fucking course.

By Google Map or compass, there are 40% of Canadians who, I predict, will not find their way to a polling station on May 2nd. Why? Because half of you couldn’t find your food dish if it was moved, let alone navigate your way to a school gymnasium or community centre. That’s the half that gave up reading this far. They’re complete failures as Canadians. The test isn't even that fucking hard! Vote Compass asks 30 questions. Voting day, asks one. One question. Multiple choice. MFC! Vote. You do remember how to vote, don't you? You just hold your nose and mark an X. Or have so many of you sat your fat asses on the sideline sofas for the last 3 elections in seven years that you've forgotten how and really do need a compass for directions on how to think? 

You’re a 30-year-old Canadian. Grow up. You don't need a compass. You need a whack upside the head.