Happy voting day everyone! Tired of hearing bullshit being spewed from everyone and everything around you? Don’t know who to vote for? Don’t want any of the candidates in power? A year ago today I published a piece about why I think people shouldn’t vote. This year’s election has come about and I see the same issues but at the federal level instead of municipal or provincial. So after a lot of thought I have formed the basis in my head for a new political party and have written a rough outline of it’s ideals.
Each year every party not in power claims that change needs to happen, but it never does. The superficial happens, taxes raised or lowered, policies changes, lies and manipulations are uncovered. Nothing ever changes at the foundation. The parties continue to take advantage of the same loop holes, the same people, the same outdated and poorly thought out practices because they know how to play them and use them to their own advantage while screwing over the voters they promise to help. The only way to change this is through a complete overhaul of the electoral system. Though many changes may be impossible to make, even if they would greatly benefit the country, there are changes easy to make which could have a dramatic effect on future elections.
The party system is corrupted beyond repair. Political parties constantly drift further and further to the extremes in a desperate bid to draw in those who disagree with the other side. However this alienates the middle ground and gradually makes compromise, the foundation of democracy, impossible. Yet instead of making an effort to move back to a reasonable position and working with the rest of the elected officials, government parties push harder and harder against each other not for the good of the country, but in an effort to discredit the others and stay in or gain power. Canada will never prosper or grow in a positive way until our elected officials begin to work together and reach compromises based on what the people want.
Though the political parties can not be done away with, voices can be more clearly heard. The lies, manipulation and scare tactics of the parties can and need to be stopped. This is the main and only goal of the Grey party. Fairness, honesty, accountability and a voice for every eligible voter. The people should not be frightened into changing a vote, they should not be given ultimatums and they should be heard if they support none of the candidates. This is an achievable goal with a very simple platform.
Firstly those who do not support and of the parties or independent candidates should be able to voice that opinion. While policy varies at the provincial and municipal levels the federal governments allows no way for the people to reject all options and be counted. For a truly fair democracy this is vital so that the people can demand a different and better selection instead of being forced into a choice of bad decisions. Choosing the lesser of two evils is not choosing what you want and what you think the country needs. Calling for the choices to change in accordance with what is wanted by the people is. If every vote truly matters then every no-vote does as well and the smart parties will listen to those voices in order to gain the despaired votes.
For votes to truly speak the opinions of the people though, the people must know who and what they are voting for. The willingness of voters to be taken advantage of plays to the party with the best marketing. Laziness is their greatest strength. Parties have the ability to say nearly anything and even when they are caught in a lie, many voters simply take it as fact and form opinions on it. Attack ads pollute the media and the minds of voters with lies and half truths. Instead of focusing on their own strengths and ideas campaigns run straight to discrediting opponents with monochrome images, daunting music and unflattering photos. The psychological attack on naive voters is compounded by the bombardment of names and colours with little to no substance behind them. Cheap flyers with only the most basic notes and lawn signs with no mention of a platform at all litter the streets in an attempt to form brand recognition and a hope that people will simply vote for the name they see the most. The bullying by both candidates and supporters undermine the electoral process by taking the focus off the platforms and ideas and just making it about a single name. These practices need to be abolished.
By doing away with slur campaigns and unsubstantial advertising the people will be encouraged to research candidates and parties. Watch interviews and debates. Read detailed campaigns. Think critically and fact check. Contact candidates and ask questions. This should be further encouraged by the government. Not just education of the platforms but of the whole electoral process. People can not make an informed and fair decision if they don’t understand how their vote affects the outcome. Knowledge truly is power and the key to a successful democracy. The people need clear, honest and detailed information but need to also be pushed to use it responsibly for the betterment of the country.
The Grey Party will not presume to be the party to lead Canada into a better era in the long term or even necessary in the short term. This basic platform is only to act as a catalyst for the changes needed to be made. Policies stretching beyond that of the electoral system should be made by those chosen by the people for their ideas and expertise. To that end the party will only support the outlined ideas to drive electoral change while encouraging education. The party will not push for voters to choose GPC candidates but instead will simply act as a temporary stand in for an option to abstain from voting. Any party members elected to parliament, while encouraged to support their individual ideas and stay involved in their communities, will vote only on changes to the electoral system and refrain from voting on any other topics.
To reiterate, the Grey Party of Canada’s platform calls for a system for voters to abstain from voting and be counted. For lawn signs, smear campaigns and other advertising not focused on the campaign platform to be abolished. For more emphasis to be put on familiarization and education of the electoral system and party platforms prior to voting. Finally and most importantly to act as a placeholder for voting abstinence options and supporting only these changes to the electoral system.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I truly hope to hear some feedback and if people would support this idea. I have absolutely no political experience but I strongly believe these changes need to happen in order to break the cycle of jack ass after jack ass being offered up as the next leader of our country.
5 thoughts on “The Grey Party Manifesto”
Interesting ideas Matty. When confederation occurred in 1967, I would imagine the politicians of the day assumed that the citizens of Canada would be informed voters. That was in the day of newspapers . Now there are so many other sources and yet there is less awareness of the parties and their stances and even less knowledge of how our political system works. I totally agree with the idea of no signs. They are an absolute blight! And lastly, I wonder if the politicians and their high priced, out of touch cronies would actually listen to the abstaining of voters . One could certainly hope so.
Wow, confederation was only 52 years ago? I thought we were so much older…
They would eventually have to listen because someone else will and that party will suddenly gain a whole lot of votes.
Dude, literally the “None Of The Above” (NOTA) party already exists. Loosely existing in Canada for over 20 years. Officially in Ontario for 5 years. And counterparts in several countries, check the wikipedia page.
“An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word ‘declined’ upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote.”
Section 53: Ontario Election Act
The issue is that these results are not made public at all levels, and really hold no swing. Sure parties SHOULD be looking at those numbers and asking how they can get those votes, but they seem to view it more as “Well they aren’t voting for the other guy either”.
I looked into the NOTA party and I’m very disappointed I’ve never heard of them. There were no candidates in my area, and nothing came up about them when I was looking into how to abstain from voting. Even after knowing about them, it’s hard to find anything without pecifically searching the name. I hope the party can become more well known and wider spread by the next election.