Okay, let’s get political. The other day, after scrolling through my friendly Twitter feed, I paused to see the CBC’s Vote Compass link. It was ideal timing, as my inner democratic compass was spinning wildly as if I stood on the North Pole’s legislative peak.
The link led me to a bright site, asking “Where do you stand?” Below that, an ever-augmented number showed us just how many Canadians have also sought bearing. At the time of publication, over 681 thousand people have done the quiz.
As per usual, CBC nailed it with their version of the “which character are you most like?” Facebook quizzes of yore (a.k.a. 2007), providing colourful graphics and easy-to-navigate clickable answers. There were questions like: “How much should wealthier people pay in taxes?” along with the grittier questions surrounding the pipeline, abortion, and the decriminalization of marijuana.
The quiz-taker is given a choice between standard answers with vague signifiers like “somewhat”, and “much”, allowing for some serious indecision-making.
Once you get through the issues, CBC asks you to rate each candidate on their trustworthiness and likeability (I may have exaggerated a bit in this section).
It took a mere ten minutes to retrieve my results, and in true infographic-heavy style, CBC allowed me to view each response in relation to each party’s stance. A simple x/y axis directed me to a corner box, where I sat comfortably between the contenders, like a mouse skirting delicately around the elephant’s stomping feet.
In the end, I was left with no more direction than where I began. I sit among many Islanders who see la vie en verte, but wonder if my vote will make an impact for our all-encompassing native land. I was hopeful that my Vote Compass results would lead me to clarity; however it did just the opposite.
And whaddya know, a few days later, while researching, CBC gave me a very different result. In one corner, you have three parties, and those three parties, so closely knit together, end up within percentage points of each other on my scale.
Come Election Day (October 19, mark your calendar, kiddies), where will I place my magic marker X? Is there something to be said about Canadians, especially young Canadians, and their indecisive nature to politics?
Are we a generation of indifference and convenience, looking for the easy way out of a problem set in place by the (dare I say it) crotchety old men in ill-fitting suits? (Cut to: Harper in Mexico, 2014.)
So there I sat, bewildered that even a computer program designed to decide for you couldn’t even figure me out. It told me that I could probably close my eyes, hover over the orange and green and let gravity choose for me.
And so I wonder, is this the result that other youth voters receive, are we simply told that, “Well, you could vote for anyone, as long as it is not Conservative?” Confirming the idea that strategic voting—voting against who you don’t want, not for who you do want—may just be a driving force this October.
I encourage you now, dear reader, to trust your instinct, not your parents’ instinct, and check the box locally and nationally for the future of our confused generation.