A week ago, as you read this, Canadians awoke to a brand new scene. Things had gotten shaken, not stirred, in the federal election. I'm not going to bore you with how Canadian politics work - we don't have the same system as the lower North American one or quite the same as the United Kingdom either. The main thing to understand is that we are a VAAAAAAST nearly empty country. So the popular vote doesn't work - well honestly - nothing quite does.
Despite that you won't hear me complaining that the prime one got a majority of seats without a majority of votes - that's how it all shakes down. And I won't complain that he is the devil incarnate (a phrase that perplexes me in that if the devil isn't embodied (the meaning of incarnate - in flesh) then what kind of devil could he possibly be... but I digress), or that Canada has been sold to the highest bidder. Neither will you hear me say smugly that it is so damn wonderful that the NDP have formed the official opposition. Because, dear readers, it isn't. I am not so secretly pleased that the oh so elite liberals got a good comeuppance but even that statement curls and dies on my lips. I'm not happy about anything to do with this election except one thing. I'm allowed to vote.
I'm allowed to haul my fat socialist ass down to the polling station and without anyone giving me any grief other than to look a little longer than I'd like at my driver's license photo, place my X beside my faint hope. I love voting. Every single time - even when I'm so annoyed that the goons in Ottawa make it happen so often - I dance my vote, I sing my vote, I trance my vote. I suck in the particular old export A smell that still lingers in the long smoke free legion. I rest my eyes on the old dolls that are hired to make sure the lists get crossed off and the new lads with shiny eyes who are helping. I like seeing my neighbours shyly making comments about this and that - careful not to ask about your vote or hint about theirs - and I like folding up the origami sheets after I've shakily made my lost cause X and giving it to the guy or gal who has to tear off the bit of paper that says I did it. Then I push my precious golden vote past the corrugated lip down into the box with all the others. All the other flags of this freedom, this sweet place that lets me whinge and whine and crap on the leaders - who lets me dis them or love them but asks me please to make it real. To exercise my prerogative - to be counted.
No matter how jaded or sad or f***ked up I get about what is happening with our government, please don't let me lose my love affair with voting. And if you live in a democracy, I hope you feel the same, and dance the dance. For it is a precious, precious dance.