Election: “An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.”
eg. On May 2nd, Canada is having a federal election.
Politics: “of, or relating to, the city,” modeled on Aristotle’s “affairs of the city,” his book on governments and governing.
eg. The election is to decide the future of Canada’s political affairs, and who will hold the office of Prime Minister.
Minority Government: “Is a cabinet of a parliamentary system formed when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament but is sworn into government to break a Hung Parliament election result.”
eg. The election is being called because our current Prime Minister wishes to break his minority government so he can better control the agenda of parliament.
Vote: “a method for a group to make a decision or express an opinion. It is often found in democracies and republics.”
eg. An election is acted out through the process of voting. Citizens wishing to cast their opinion for the candidate they believe should head the country vote on election day. It follows that the candidate with the most votes wins the election.
Democracy: “a form of government in which all citizens have equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.”
eg. A vote is held to establish governments in a democracy.
Strategic Voting: “in elections with more than two viable candidates, when a voter supports a candidate other than his or her sincere preference in order to prevent an undesirable outcome.”
eg. In Canada, there is much talk of strategic voting to dethrone the current prime minister. Electing a candidate with a close chance of beating him is considered a vote against him, despite that, by its nature, a strategic vote is one that goes against the principles of democracy. Otherwise, it is just “a vote.”
Chance: “a complex of causes that produces an indeterministic process with indeterministic effects, therefore not-necessary, not-deterministic.”
eg. There is an element of chance in every election. The chance that, given your vote is counted and weighed against all other votes in equal measure, your candidate will be elected, is not a simple function of the number of candidates divided by the number of people voting. Given the myriad of personal reasons, backgrounds, histories and ideals of the people of this country, the ability to determine how an election will swing is so ungraspable it might as well be a hair adrift on an ocean. The number of infinite routes to get to an outcome of a handful of candidates make the chance of calculating and, thus hoping to influence an election with said calculation, impossible. The statement that follows from applying strategic voting to a democracy is that if you follow one candidate’s chance of winning, there’s a chance your vote will mean more.
Belief: the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.
eg. If you believe in democracy, strategic voting is contrapuntal to that belief. If you believe that an individual has a say in the outcomes of of the affairs of a government, and that an individual’s desires to see one thing happen over another can be heard, you should not have to rely on the chance that comes with strategic voting. All that is doing is encouraging citizens to speak about what they don’t want, giving no voice to what they do want. You encourage no citizens’ belief in democracy, you bet on a chance of democracy, which, as believers of democracy, is contrapuntal to your belief. Whether or not your vote is counted, or meaningful, or the right vote is irrelevant. Democracy has never been about winning. Democracy is about voting. Voting is expressing a belief in democracy and if voting is important to you, if democracy is important to you, vote for. Do not vote against. If democracy is unimportant to you, or if you do not believe the system can represent your voice, do not vote. I do not judge. Every election is not a chance to chastise those that do not vote, harping “civic duty” from the rooftops. An election is a chance to take part in your own beliefs, to vote for what you believe in.
Faith: “the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing, not resting on logical proof or material evidence.”
eg. You cannot put faith in chance, because it does not rely on truth or trustworthiness. It is a collection of random occurences. If you believe democracy to be the same thing, don’t vote; in the scheme of belief and faith and politics, its the same thing as strategic voting.