Posted by Curtis Westman on October 21, 2010
Some days I wonder if the entranceway into Hell is guarded by Ben Mulroney, and others I just take it for granted.
Last night, I was watching the Toronto Mayoral Debate while supping on nightshade and razor-blades. Around the time I explosively started spewing blood and bile from the majority of my orifices, all I could think was that, well, at least dinner was good.
It’s hard watching grown men reduced to the level of animals, especially when they’re not already sitting in Parliament, but Ford and Smitherman seem to come pretty close to emulating our federal leaders. Kudos to them, I suppose, for the ability to act like babies without even yet being elected.
Between Ford’s giggling and Smitherman’s fuming, though, Pantalone made a remark about the idea behind the way we vote itself. He said that the face that at this point, the election has descended into “strategic voting” was a tragedy. And he’s right.
In a perfect election, nobody would have to vote strategically. I should be able to vote for the candidate that I like because I like them, because I like what they stand for, because I enjoyed their sex tape or really, by whatever other criteria I see fit. But this isn’t a perfect election, and these are certainly not perfect candidates, and Ford’s sex tape was especially disappointing.
We have three candidates representing a wide range of the political spectrum, with a wide range of ideas about how best to govern the city. None of them will ever be able to represent how we feel without making us think we’re somehow settling on certain issues, like when one goes to a restaurant and doesn’t have the gumption to ask for a substitution, so one ends up eating sand because, yes, it’s the worst restaurant on the planet.
So we vote for the person who least offends us. Or, at least, the person who least offends us that has a chance of winning. But that’s not our fault. One of the candidates will always be the worst in our eyes, no matter who we are, and we will do whatever it takes not to let that candidate win. It’s the fault of our electorate, frankly.
Yes, the error lies in the very way we vote. If we adopted a better system, like, say, a preferential voting system, this would be all but eliminated.
People are dumb, and I should know, I’m people. But one thing we do know is who we hate and who we like. Obviously, the third frontrunner would lie in between. It’s no more difficult than deciding whether to take the subway to work or to drive…a railroad spike through the supple bones in your hands.
Of course you won’t take the subway.
And in a preferential voting system, the candidate that seems most rational, the one that barely gets mentioned in a negative way because people are indifferent to them — you know, the one that’s least likely to fuck everybody’s shit up — yeah, they’d probably do pretty well.
But don’t listen to me, I actually watched the debate. I clearly have no idea what’s good for me.