Allison Cully/the Gauntlet

The benefits of not voting

Canada's positive slide into restful oligarchy

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With our southern neighbours engaged in one of the most interesting elections in recent memory, Canadians can feel proud that they decided to assert their independence and largely ignore the election here. Although the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history has garnered much negative publicity, there are actually a number of reasons that such a situation should be praised rather than derided.

The most important of these is that less voters in total means that each individual vote actually counted for more. Ironically, the common conception that an individual's vote doesn't count for anything anyway catches a lot of blame for this low voter turnout. Fortunately not voting, if for this reason, actually went some way to mitigating the problem. This is, of course, incredibly positive for the governing of the country. It can be assumed that the people who did vote were for the most part more interested in the political process and had a better idea of who could best lead Canada than those who refrained, so as those votes now carry more weight, the country is much better off. Thus, our electoral trends are finally moving us away from that scary governing by the masses nonsense and into a much more comfortable and sane elitist system.

There are personal advantages to low voter turnout as well. Obviously, one must make time to vote. Though individuals are entitled to leave work to vote, most people still find it necessary to go to the polls either before or after the office shift. In the past, this took a little planning, as peak times could often mean lines and some waiting around in the local elementary school gymnasium. But with voter turnout scraping just below 60 per cent, it is unlikely that this will be necessary in the future. Now you can set aside just the time it takes to mark an 'x' or write something profane on your ballot and not worry about waking up early to cast your now substantially more important vote.

And the advantages of low voter turnout don't stop there. Come election night, counting votes will be a much swifter process, given that there simply aren't that many to count. Not only does this mean that less prime-time TV will be eaten up by coverage of people standing behind podiums-- which we see enough of at school anyway-- but, given the frequency with which we seem to have elections, there may even be a chance for some sort of tax cut, as the vote counters certainly won't be working overtime. Having the votes counted early also means that you will be able to go to bed earlier, which will be great for keeping the sleep schedule on track, given that you didn't have to wake up early either.

Though there are a lot of detractors suggesting that a 59 per cent voter turnout signals a crisis or perhaps the beginning of the failure of democracy, it is actually a positive thing. Low voter turnout is the best way possible to ensure that the decision of who will govern us is left up to well informed, politically attentive people, who will furthermore be well rested.