26 November 2008

Depressed, Really Depressed

Have been depressed, really depressed lately. Couldn't figure out why.

OK, a life of deprivation does that to you. But as I wrote elsewhere, you get used to it. Going without becomes just another part of everyday life, as natural as breathing.

So why the extra depression?

Seasonal affective disorder perhaps?

Nope. I go for a walk most days, even in rainy weather, and most of those days I enjoy the walk.

Well, I finally figured it out yesterday.

Deprivation means marginalization, marginalization means being excluded from activities which most other people are able to participate in. But being marginalized doesn't mean one is disenfranchised from all societal activities, including one of the most important ones: full participation in the political and electoral process.

Well, I got that wrong, didn't I? As I finally learned October 14, 2008.

Why it took me so long I don't know, but here it is: My vote doesn't count. I'm one of the voters which our hopelessly antiquated first-past-the-post voting system excludes.

People on the winning side respond: "Too bad! You chose the wrong candidate, is all!"

In other words, had I only chosen the candidate who would win, I'd be a winner too. Never mind whether the candidate represents a party whose values and policies I abhor. I'd still be a winner!

And that's why I've been so down lately.

Things started going downhill immediately after the election. I'm deeply angry and this anger has been building over the past several federal and provincial elections.

Forty years I've participated in the system and today I sit here looking at a future in which I no longer can support the sham which our purportedly democratic system has become.

Why THIS election to wake me up to the new reality? Why not the previous election or the one before that?

Don't know. But I am awake now.

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