April 14, 2011
Why vote? Lots of good reasons are trotted out by editorialists every election: it’s your civic duty, you don’t have a right to complain otherwise, the falling rates of participation are scarey.
But in The Daily News profile of Donovan Cavers of the Green Party, the candidate points out what may the most practical reason of all — it’s like donating money to the party of your choice, but paid for by the government.
Under the system of public financing now in place, political parties are given $2 for each vote they receive. Last year $27 million was handed out. The idea is that this levels the playing field to some extent, and helps groups without fundraising machines behind them to pay for their campaigns.
The Green Party received $1.9 million, even though it didn’t win any seats. The leader, Elizabeth May, wasn’t allowed to take part in televised debates, but her party has been able to mount a credible campaign.
So if you’re thinking it’s pointless to vote because your favourite party hasn’t got a chance of winning, think again. When you or a group of friends vote, it’s like money in the bank for your cause.