Don’t vote willy-nilly

It’s crucially important to vote with your head.

It is traditional for a newspaper, in the issue immediately proceeding an election, to editorialize along these lines: It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just get out and vote.

Heck, it is practically a newsroom requirement.

Yeah. Meh. We aren’t doing that.

Because it’s stupid.

In the long histories of elections and newspapers, it is unlikely that anyone, ever, decided to exercise the franchise on the strength of an admonishing opinion no matter how eloquently composed.

Moreover, it’s just not true.

Of course, it matters who you vote for. It matters very much. Actually, it’s all that matters.

That’s not to suggest you can name a right candidate, or a wrong candidate, for any office.

Within our electoral system, the candidate who gets the most votes is, by definition, the right candidate. So it’s crucially important to vote with your head.

There are people who “X” the first name or names on a ballot. There are people who “X” candidates solely because there is name recognition — because they’ve heard of that person before, or because they have the most signs on peoples’ lawns. There are people who base their vote on the opinions of others, overheard at the coffee shop or on social media.

All those people should stay home on Saturday and watch cartoons.

Voting is the closest practice to a sacred ritual offered by any democracy. You shouldn’t vote just because you can, without giving some serious thought to what you are doing. A willfully ill-informed voter is to effective government what a drunk driver is to a four-lane highway.

Read newspapers or follow credible digital news media.

Find out at least something about the relevant issues and examine your own feelings on them. Do some homework and learn a bit about how your government works and what can and cannot be expected of it.

Vote for candidates if you agree with their positions on big issues — whatever those happen to be in your community.

When choosing between candidates you might also consider character, as well as experience or knowledge, leadership style, approachability. Pick something but make it tangible and real.

A vote is a tremendous privilege, but it is also a responsibility.

Treat it like one.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spall golfers sizzle

Countback needed to determine low gross winner in first flight

Coldstream provincial park trail gets assessment

Vernon Search and Rescue, BC Parks, assess trail on Kal Lake Provincial Park’s east side

Vernon Vipers add experience to roster

Western League veteran joins Snakes, who also sign player out of prep hockey

Therapeutic art for sale at Vernon show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read