Fait Accompli

I just got back from the polling station, which was conveniently located less than a block from my apartment. I have the same anxiety when voting as I used to have when taking multiple choice tests: I had to unfold the ballot twice after I'd marked it to reassure myself that my mark was actually next to the candidate I intended to vote for. This would always happen to me in exams. As soon as I would move on to the next question, or start to contemplate handing the exam in, I would become gripped with the fear that the answer I had marked was not the answer I intended to mark, and that I would lose marks despite knowing the answers. It all started when I was in about the third grade and I started having metaphysical thoughts. I realized that I had NO WAY OF KNOWING if my memory of the past (even the recent past) was at all correlated with what had actually happened, indeed if such a usage of actually is even meaningful. This has nothing to do with the psychological fact that memory is imperfect. It's my extreme discomfort with the idea of divine intervention and all that that means for our capacity to know anything. As a youngster I managed to work out (with the help of sympathetic parents) that in the final analysis it didn't matter whether I could trust my version of reality, because whether my experiences were real, or were the result of divine implantation of memory, as long as they're internally consistent my behaviour should remain the same. But I still get moments of anxiety when I have to commit myself to something without seeing myself commit (because, for example, the ballot gets folded) because I remain nervous that once outside of my senses, reality is going to shift itself around. It's a low-grade and manageable nervousness, but it's there nonetheless.

Hmmm. Got a little distracted there. I meant for this to be a post on voting. Here, I'll start again:

I just got back from the polling station, which was conveniently located less than a block from my apartment. Unlike Rand, I won'd be casting aspersions on those who vote differently from how I do, but I will say this:

If you are a Canadian citizen and you haven't already, PLEASE VOTE. This democracy of ours only works if we participate in it. If you're feeling disenfranchised by the system, you do yourself no favours by refusing to participate in it. If you worry that your party won't win, not voting (or not voting for them) only makes that a self-fullfilling prophecy. If none of the mainstream parties are in line with your views, vote for an independent. Vote Rhinocerous. Hell, vote Natural Law. But VOTE.

And please, if there is one, vote for a candidate you believe in. If you vote for a party you don't like, out of fear that a worse party will win, you bring us one step closer to a two-party system. Can you imagine what it would look like if three years from now every American voter who was feeling disillusioned by the Republicans or the Democrats voted for an independent who *did* represent their views? Canada is on the road to a two-pronged-one-party system just like the US has and the *only* way to avert it is to vote for the party you believe in. So please, please, before the polls close tonight, go and vote.

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