Why on earth would you decline your ballot?

Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of posts on Facebook and Twitter giving instructions on how Ontario voters can decline their ballot on election day. There are articles, and even a website extolling the virtues of declining your ballot on election day.

Perhaps I’m overly skeptical, but I’ve been wondering who is benefitting from this campaign? While it is your right to decline your ballot, I wonder about who is behind this push. Why? Because I think its worth thinking about. Who benefits if you decline your vote? How will politicians react to an increase in the number of declined votes? They won’t. They will, in the end, do what politicians do, and play to those who voted for them. They will make choices based on the demographic that votes for them, or that votes at all. And declining your ballot is not voting.

So I wonder to myself, who benefits if people decline their ballot? My skeptical brain thinks its the Tim Hudak and his conservatives. But it doesn’t matter. I tried to do some digging and find out who the website declineyourvote.ca was registered to. But that information isn’t available. Even the about section on the website doesn’t state who is behind it. So that makes me suspect that one of the parties is behind it. Since I don’t like Tim and his cronies, my brain makes me think its him. But let’s be honest, it could also be the Ontario Liberals or even the NDP. I can think of reasons why they would all benefit.

Think of it like this: Declining your vote will not prevent that politician you hate from being elected. Since it takes your vote out of the equation, it may in fact make it more likely that this politician will find themselves in power. Because you didn’t vote. Because declining your vote isn’t the same as voting.

So, do your civic duty. Take part in the election. And choose a candidate. Because that’s what voting is.

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