Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Full moon over Ottawa

8:44pm. "E-Day." Already I'm a member of an in-group.

This is my first foray into liveblogging. I won't be announcing any results before all of the polls have closed. I leave that to extra-territorial reprobates who are above the law. Instead, I hope that commenters will raise some issues of interest. To start things off:

What about this Elections Canada blackout rule? I was in favour of it earlier today: I'd never really thought about it much, but I figured that it was interfering in an electoral process that should consist of individuals casting ballots based upon their own beliefs and values, not upon what other people are doing.

Then I took the dog for a long walk, and realized that nothing about that position made any sense. First, because of our ridiculous first-past-the-post system, millions of votes tonight will simply be wasted, while millions more will go to candidates whom the voters don't really want. The latter, strategic voting, is inevitable when only some of the votes cast really count. Given that this is the system, though, why shouldn't electors be able to vote strategically based upon what is happening all around them at the moment? And, even with a democratic system of proportional representation, one might have one's reasons to vote strategically--to provide Parliamentary balance if one party is scooping up too many seats, or, under two-ballot MMP, to help prevent a local candidate one doesn't like from winning.

More generally: why should voters be denied information at any point in the process? Why should they become isolated atoms on E-Day? Isn't voting, first and foremost, a social act?

So I've talked myself into believing that Election Canada rules are wrong even for the regular media. It's not just a matter of enforcement, but of principle. Am I wrong? Comments welcome.

9:54 Conservative minority. The election never took place. How many more confidence votes will Dion duck?

10:26 Paul Dewar is back, thank all the gods that be. Angry Baird has knuckle-walked to victory.

10:30 I'm off to the Dewar celebration to drink myself to death. Full moon. The hairy-knuckled folks are on the prowl. Two more dreadful years of the Conservative-Liberal coalition. Night all.

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