1. Voting for the lesser of four evils is still voting for evil. Don’t vote for evil.
The Conservatives, Liberals, New
Democratic Party, and Greens will all deliver different versions of the same thing: an economic system that benefits the rich while exploiting workers and the natural world, a government that rules in the interests of the rich, an erasure of Canada’s history of colonialism and support for the ongoing land theft and destruction of indigenous lands and lives (for example, the Tar Sands).
2. Liberal democracy isn’t broken; it’s working for government and corporate interests.
Liberal democracy, an idea from eighteenth century Europe, brought to Canada in the 19th Century is not and never has been about freedom, justice and dignity for all. Liberal democracy was designed to maintain the control of a minority of (rich, white, male) property owners over the rest of the population. The failure of liberal democracies to respect indigenous sovereignty and to provide economic, social, environmental, and gender justice (and so on) is not due to the system malfunctioning, but due to the fact that the system was designed to perpetuate these injustices.
3. There’s no such thing as a good politician.
Some politicians may be moral people (although I’m a bit skeptical), but if they are, they will not be effective in such a corrupt and cynical system. Those people who are successful politicians are the ones willing and able to manipulate others for their own benefit with the ultimate goal of gaining power for themselves, and with little regard for the well-being of others. This catch 22 leaves any “good” politicians ineffective, while those who succeed are manipulative cynics interested primarily in their own personal fortunes.
4. I know what you’re against (Harper), but what are you for?
This criticism is usually directed at those of us who want system change – ending capitalism, colonialism and oppression, but now it’s your turn: Sure, you’re against Harper and the conservative agenda, but what are you for? If you’re for justice, none of the party’s is offering that: What are they saying about Palestine, and the Palestinians ongoing fight against a brutal occupying government? What are they saying about really changing our greed based economic system?
Vote or Don’t Vote, Organize!
To quote the Zapatistas: “we don’t call for people not to vote, nor do we call for them to vote. As Zapatistas, every time we get the chance we tell people that they should organize to resist and to struggle for what they need.”