I am Canadian. Thanks to a certain beer commercial, you already know what that means.
I vote with my heart, as my head is only good for parking one of those hats with earflaps.
When I was very young, I voted NDP. Then, one day I got tired of wasting my vote, so I voted for Pierre Trudeau, even though he thought the West was something you flew over on the way to visit Margaret’s parents in Vancouver, and even though he flipped off Prairie farmers and launched the National Energy Program, which is why no Liberals get elected in Alberta to this day.
I had a brief moment of remorse and voted for Joe Clark, High River, Alberta’s favourite son. But as Progressive a Conservative as Joe was, he was still a long way from Ed Broadbent.
So I went back and wasted my vote for another couple of elections. Don’t blame me for Brian Mulroney. I voted NDP.
Then I surprised myself and voted for Kim Campbell, even if she was going out with a guy who was trying to sell running shoes with springs in them. Of course, she was crushed by the Little Guy/petit gars from Shawinigan, and so at the next available opportunity, I went Little Guy, even though there was really nothing little about him. Especially his ego.
By the time Jean Chrétien was ushered off the stage, I had settled into a Liberal voting pattern, which is probably where my heart belongs. I grew up in the geographical centre of Canada, Winnipeg, and from there, you can see both sides. Winnipeg elects a lot of Liberals who can also see both sides.
Liberals are often accused of riding the fence, and that was certainly Paul Martin’s problem — he spent his brief reign impaled on a picket, but I voted for him anyway.
So here we go again.
Stephen Harper? Can’t sing. Never trust anyone who’s a semi-tone flat but insists on singing in public anyway. Karaoke hog.
Jack Layton? Can’t count. If we give him the keys to the Canadian economy, he will take it for a joyride until it runs out of gas.
Elizabeth May? Can’t get elected. It’s like voting Rhinoceros, just not as much fun.
My heart says to vote for Michael Ignatieff, who is the smartest guy ever to run for prime minister, just not smart enough, apparently, to get elected.
I am Canadian. It doesn’t really matter if my choice wins. What matters is that I vote, because I can.