Go ahead and spoil your ballot. 
As I'm reading about Liz May's whining about not being included in the televised debates, I am filled with a tiny bit of shame.

One of the Green Party's arguments for inclusion involves the tiny but measurable amount of votes they've got over the past few years.

I am ashamed to say that one of those votes was mine, and I'm wondering how many more of them came from people who had no desire to see the Green Party have any representation whatsoever in our government.

It was a few elections ago and, so far as I could tell, there were no viable options in any of the three parties that sometimes manage to get people elected. I could have decided it wasn't worth bothering, but I'm happy to live in a free and democratic society and I think it's my duty to get out and vote, even if the available candidates are all idiots.

So I did, and in a sort of protest against the established parties I cast my lot in with the Green Party, knowing full well they wouldn't be elected. I didn't want to add to the embarassing statistics showing how much apathy there is, and I didn't want to support anyone likely to be elected.

In retrospect, what I should have done was spoil my ballot.

In several elections since then I've had good reason to vote for electable parties, and I've done so. It seems largely irrelevant in my irrationally-voting riding, but I went and did my part.

If you'd like to debate the issues, I'd be happy to, but this post is to encourage everyone who doesn't like any of the options to still get out and vote... but don't vote for someone in protest. Simply spoil your ballot. Draw a happy face and drop it in the box. Write in a vote for Batman if you'd like. Just don't accidentally contribute to someone's crackpot agenda just because you don't want to be counted as apathetic.

I can't be the only one who's done it. I can't help but wonder whether many thousands have done just a bit too much to piss away taxpayer money into the coffers of yet another political party we aren't benefitting from.

I apologize for my transgression. Hopefully others can now learn from it.

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Jack Layton is a Funny Guy! 
I love watching Jack Layton give speeches. Comfortable in the knowledge that he will never be held accountable, he can say absolutely anything he wants to in an effort to woo a few voters over to the NDP.

Today, I watched him talk about how he will forbid any credit card companies from charging over 5% over prime in interest.

That sounds great to the masses who won't think it through. It sounds especially great to those who have fallen on hard times and have been forced to take on credit card debt to keep themselves afloat. I'm sure it sounds even better to those financial wizards who carry balances on credit cards to fund discretionary purchases they can't wait for or can't actually afford.

But this isn't a rant on the financially irresponsible.

This is a laugh at Jack Layton making up stuff that can't possibly happen or that would hurt the people he's pretending to try to help.

Firstly, credit cards are not low interest borrowing products. They hold unsecured debt so that debt is expensive. It's expensive because there's a relatively high chance of default so they need to cover their losses. That's the theory anyway. This isn't a rant about credit card companies either, so we won't go into all the issues with the premise.

The fact is, without the high rate of interest, it would be a lot more risky to give everyone and anyone a credit card. If they had low rates, they wouldn't be so profitable, and so they wouldn't let just anyone have one.

So basically, the people who stand to benefit most from this change, which I assume don't qualify for a line of credit, wouldn't get to have them anymore.

Now this might save many of them from getting themselves into trouble they don't need to be in, but it will also hurt a lot of people who just need a bit of emergency money to legitimately carry them through some sort of temporary shortfall.

I guess Jack wants to push those folks to the payday loan people.

Way to go, Jack! Looking out for the little guy!

Now if I were in some sort of position of power, I'd make it part of my mandate to ensure that high schools have mandatory financial literacy classes required for graduation. But that's just me.

Here's hoping Jack promises to eliminate income tax. That would be fun to hear!

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IndyCar Racing is Back 
The IndyCar race was the best racing for this weekend. Maybe F1 should take some pointers with their double-file restarts and their push-to-pass system. It made for way better racing than F1's stupid moving wing did!

Congrats to Dario who's off to a great start! After a lot of chaos at the beginning of the race, things sorted out and Dario drove off to about the same easy victory that Vettel had in the F1 race, but the racing behind him was much more exciting.

The NASCAR race at Fontana was relatively boring... but it usually is. NASCAR has the best racing overall and thankfully has a lot of variety in the tracks. While this week was nothing to write home about, next week at Martinsville should be blast as it usually is!

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F1 Racing is Back 
I just watched the Australian Grand Prix. Vettel and Hamilton started 1st and 2nd. Vettel and Hamilton finished 1st and 2nd.

The only really interesting battle during the whole race involved Button trying for many laps to pass Massa, who was clearly slower.

He couldn't do it, and finally resorted to cutting a corner to get by. After a few laps of discussion and debate, he was given a penalty and that was that.

The stupid new adjustable rear wing and all the stupid rules about when it could and couldn't be used never really had any impact. I saw one pass in the whole race that could be attributed to its use. Big deal.

It looks like F1 is going to remain the most overrated form of racing yet again this year. I'll keep watching for a few more races to see if anything is really different, but it's not looking good to start.

Now I'm going to watch the opening of the IndyCar series and see if that's still better. I expect it will be.

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Fords are Fast! 
There seems to be an ongoing theme this season in NASCAR when it comes to qualifying.

The Fords are VERY fast!

Good for them, I guess. It's not necessarily translating to top finishes... or finishing at all for that matter... but they seem to have definitely found something unique.

It'll be interesting to see whether the other three catch up sooner rather than later.

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