We Vote Every Day – With Our Dollars

Every 1-2 years a federal, provincial or municipal election comes upon us. For many, this is the time to jump on the party “booster bus” and proclaim one’s commitment to the cause. For many more, it seems to be an important topic to discuss around the office or during a get together with friends.

Questions like “Who are you going to vote for?” or “Should I vote for the candidate or the party?” come to mind.  It seems to be a very important decision for many of us, because it’s our chance to change the world!

Weeks and months go by after these seemingly important elections and back we go to our daily routines, with little change to the pre-election days.  Sadly, one the fundamental problems in a first-past-the-post election system is that your vote either counted or it didn’t.  Winner takes all.

Capitalism has a few well publicized flaws and all sorts of unobvious benefits to society.  Whether your political stance is strongly liberal, conservative or somewhere in the middle, we all live in a capitalist world.  I know in Canada you could debate this, but on a wide spectrum of options, we are more “American” than many would like to admit.

Despite all the time, money and human capital spent on convincing you that your electoral vote is worth something, it is not nearly as powerful as that dollar in your pocket.  In order to support aspects of society you value and discourage aspects you dislike, put your dollars to work.

Examples

Crime/Terrorism

Vote – Conservative

$$$ – Don’t spend your money buying illegal drugs (never mind that it messes up your life).  Don’t buy pirated software, music or movies.  Don’t invest in OTCBB stocks which are prone to be fronts for money laundering and terrorist financing.


Environment

Vote – Green

$$$ – Insert the phrase “Think Globally. Act Locally.” Buying organic means pesticides and GMO aren’t being supported by your dollars.  Locally grown food from your farmers market helps support the local economy and has a lower carbon footprint.


Healthcare

Vote – Liberal/NDP

$$$ – Use private healthcare if you can afford it. This takes stress off the public healthcare system and you’ll receive catered treatment. Be mindful of when you are going to pay a visit to the hospital. A lot of Canadians don’t appreciate the cost to the government for medical treatment.


Exercising your vote is the foundation of the democratic process.  But never forget… you vote with your dollars every day.