Wednesday, November 21, 2012

65 people told me why they didn't vote

Exactly one month ago today, the Halifax Regional municipality elections opened my eyes. Introducing me to both some of my new favourite neighbours but some intense negativity I can safely say that Halifax is everything I ever thought it was only more extreme than I imagined. Passionate, excited, bubbling, angry, bored, and so over it all at once, it seemed like everyone was actually going to be voting this time.

At around 11 pm on October 20th, this was confirmed to be true.
The next day, this was denied.

So why didn't they vote? They, you know, those people we all pretend not to be. Silent or stupid? Everyone is eager to paint them as one or the other. Using some methods that would make my survey class teacher (no, seriously) roll over in her not-grave-because-she's-definitely-still-alive I decided that all I was interested in was the answers. Not the statistics, not the tidy boxes for people to fit into, not the deep demographics: I just wanted to know why people didn't vote.

65 individuals, most of which were over the age of 40, replied to various questions that hoped to prod some sort of explanation out of them, while I had some fantastic personal conversations that some individuals let me record that I have added in here.  

(For the record, the best survey answer was: "I actually voted... Just wanted to tell you that YOU ARE ADORABLE!!! Marry me? I'll buy you a ring-pop!"  ... YES.)

I don't think these answers will change any outcomes in the future. With varied opinions, one common voice did not emerge. I didn't want something that pretended to be professional. I invited other municipalities to partake, as not all of them saw the same apathetic trend as Halifax. There were very few boxes to tick off. There were no required questions. Some information is incorrect. I've put a *. I did not edit typing, because it didn't seem right. The basic "statistics" I gathered are not included because they're irrelevant at such a small sample size. I omitted some clearly humorous answers. There are no judgements.

This is just people sharing why they didn't vote.

& what they wanted to say about it
As always, feel free to comment with any questions or concerns.

-Couldn't find location of polling stations on google.

-One candidate, in by acclamation

-Our regstration informatuion never came nor wa a way to fix the issue presented. This whole thing felt like a highschool prom queen election in terms of quality.

-Didn't realize online closed on Thursday

-no point they screw you over either way

-do not believe goverment interested in solving real problems

-Resident of QC, working here temporarily

-Proxy vote documents not delivered as promised

-I DID try to vote online, but it wasn't counted, and at the point i found out there had been a story announcing Savage had already won (this was friday?) So I didn't bother to go in.

-ID was stolen from vehicle and didn't receive papers from HRM

-when then premier russell mac lellan was in he took my right to vote away.* 55 % on ns said no to sunday shopping and deep pockets bought him off to give in and bring sunday shopping here

-Left it till the last minute and then I got busy and forgot.

-No progressive councillors available in district

-I am moving out of the city and felt I shouldn't vote for a candidate that will not be representing me.

-Re the choice for Mayor, it was clear Savage was going to win by a large volume. The guy is smart. If he had figured there was any chance he could possibly lose, or the that the race would be close, he wouldn't have entered it to begin with. It would have destroyed his political career forever. He had the support of the Liberal party, as well as the NDP. I had no problem with him winning, and I abstained from voting. Re Councillor. My choices were between Sue Uteck and Waye Mason. I think council definitely needed a change, but Sue Uteck wasn't a bad councillor. A lot of younger people like Waye Mason, and I initially thought he would be a good choice a year or so ago before he was even running for council based on what I'd read from him on the internet. But I couldn't vote for him. He wrote of a plan to change Lower Water St. to pedestrian only during the summer. Interesting idea, but where would the traffic go? It's kind of a major route out of the city, not only for people who live downtown like myself, but also for the container terminals. So, I wrote thinking, "Hey, it's Waye. This guys smart. He must have a plan for traffic as well?" Here is the exact exchange I dug up for your survey. Waye wrote: ...maybe close Lower Water from the Brewery to Terminal Road during the summer... I wrote: Whoa whoa whoa. Where would all the cars go? Not to mention the trucks. Not that I like when there are a dozen transport trucks in front of me on Lower Water. But where would all of this traffic go? Waye wrote: Who cares? So, that was his entire response. No plan, Waye apparently just doesn't care. So, if he doesn't care enough to answer my question related to a plan of his. I don't care enough to vote for him.

-Would have been nice to "vote" anyway, but understand not practical and that write ins aren't eligible.

-HRM is broken. Poor policy, and seldom followed either. Too many exceptions are made causing problems later.

-Scratching a ballot doesn't mean anything like it should, therefore I did not take the time to go vote simply because I would have scratched. The scratched ballots should be counted just like votes for each candidate. Each scratched ballot represents someone who is trying to voice displeasure, and has a reason behind it. I also believe the system is failing its constituents by providing one combined (and large) conservative party, meanwhile the liberal vote is split between two liberal parties.

-Elections in Nova Scotia are bland and rarely provide clearly defined alternatives

-Didn't vote in CBRM election because I don't live there now, but feel I haven't lived here long enough to be engaged.

-This city needs to be more organized. This election felt like a joke.

-if i voted i would vote for the cat since he is the only thing that makes sense in this country

-It turned out how in figured it would

-I didn't actually know that voting was taking place when it did. I only realized it was voting day after the polls had closed and a friend posted about it on facebook. I feel like I got the information in my mailbox way earlier than was necessary, I think I threw it out ages ago.

-Had I received the proper document to vote, I certainly would have!

-Between my two district candidates (Dalrymple and Streach), I honestly felt I did not know of any differences in their platforms. As for mayor, it was obvious that Mike Savage had been chosen as the next mayor the day he announced his candidacy...the election was simply a formality.

-Honestly, I just feel completely apathetic about the entire process. I honestly don't feel that any candidate is going to do a noticeably better job than any other. Feel very "meh" about the entire thing. I want a candidate that excites me, that makes me believe that they are going to make this city a better place.

-I will never vote again . It is not worth my time

-I felt as if I was not educated enough for this election that I had been for previous elections. No candidate showed any interest in getting my vote, no phone calls were made or emails sent, not even a flyer in the mail.

-Voting is just *one* part of the political process

-It's the first election I didn't vote in.

-I tried I vote online but the download to vote was a file for a pc and wouldn't work on my Mac. After that I had to run around with work. It was a let down.