Spirituality and Politics

Here is an interesting news story about teens asking for the right to vote earlier: CBC News: Court rejects teens’ appeal to lower voting age

I will admit to not voting all that often. When I lived at home I think I only voted once, in a federal election. In my riding, Hamilton East, both the Federal and Provincial seats where sewn up. Voting for anyone else was just throwing that vote away (sort of like a vote for Nader). When we moved to London, I did vote in the Provincial election, mostly because I got a chance to talk to the candidate I was interested in. If I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have voted since I didn’t know the issues well enough. I did not vote in the civic election because I didn’t understand the issues.

Now Canada looks like it is getting ready for another Federal election. (They sneak up on us here, unlike down there in the States. You all seem to relish in the build up, we like them over with quick.) This time I think I will vote, although I honestly know only a little bit about the issues in my community. I don’t even know what riding I am currently part of. (A little bit of research shows that I am part of Parkdale-High Park.)

What’s this got to do with the original news story I linked to? Well, I think it is excellent that younger teens want to vote, but I think that we all, include us older voters, need a little more education and perhaps a little more choice. Voter turnout in Canada is pathetically low, mostly because we don’t feel truly heard by our politicians. CBC is trying a bit of reverse psychology in hopes of starting a discussion and getting people out to vote: Screw the Vote. Quite honestly, I was a little embarrassed by some of the statements, like “I don’t vote because I’m an idiot who is willing to step back and let bad government happen.” You can bet I will be voting in the upcoming election.

As for why I’m throwing a bit of politics into a spiritual blog, I think one’s spirituality should also encompass mundane issues. For me, being spiritual and knowing myself means taking responsibility for everything that I have the power to influence. If I am not voting, then I am not taking that responsibility; I am holding back my spiritual growth. I’m not going to turn into a politico over this, but I am going to pay more attention to what’s going on.

3 Responses

  1. Bec says:

    In Australia you have to vote, democracy at it’s finest, it’s a finable offense not to. I was raised with the notion that “if you don’t vote you can’t complain” so for me it’s important to watch politians and to know what the issues are.

    I agree, spirituality is more then just ritual, meditation and prayer, a big part of it is living according to your morals.

  2. Silverlotus says:

    I think that is an excellent idea. I still have a sneaking suspicion that voter turn-out would still be low here though. 😉 Not that I am proud of that, mind you.

  3. Tracie says:

    Politics and religion DO mix, and sometimes not well. The comptroller of the state of Texas wishes to remove the 501(c)3 tax exempt status from the Unitarian Universalist Church, because UU isn’t a “real” religion. The comptroller doesn’t consider it such because there is no creed in UU and there is no requirement to believe in God, gods or any supreme power. Ridiculous, if you ask me. But it goes to show that sometimes it is utterly necessary to be aware of what goes on in the political arena.