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Voting for the least offensive option

Politics have changed for me. Before I turned 18, I couldn't wait to vote, and kept up with every issue and platform for every party.

Politics have changed for me.

Before I turned 18, I couldn't wait to vote, and kept up with every issue and platform for every party.

Though I have always voted for the same party during elections, nothing's set in stone for me, so if somebody's going to start dishing out tax credits for playing video games and watching cartoons - I'm wearing their election pin.

When I turned 18, I was voting proudly and then sitting by my television watching results come in like it was the Stanley Cup finals and the Montreal Canadiens were playing.

I was also a budding journalist and starting to get sent on election coverage assignments, so I was even more tuned in to the action.

But in the past few years I've started to treat voting like a bit of a chore.

It's not a chore like painting the house or remodelling the bathroom.

It's more like having to mow the lawn.

"Ahhh. This again."

Don't get me wrong.

I still vote faithfully whenever there's an election or referendum (hey I'm from Quebec originally, so I had to vote in a few of those), but instead of feeling excited about my place as an important cog in democracy's grand works, it's now more like I'm having to choose between new vacuum cleaners.

What does it matter if they all suck?

I once sneered at the political advertisements that were being produced by our American neighbours during elections as being more about muckraking than about real issues.

But I cringe when an election is called in Canada now (which is getting to be quite often) because I know I'm going to start seeing those same types of TV ads.

You know the ones I'm talking about, right?

Over a picture of some candidate, a voiceover says something like, "John Smith is running in this election but he's really just a big fathead, isn't he? And nobody likes him. You certainly don't. He's dumb and possibly a sheep-rustling terrorist crossdresser, too. Really. Paid for by the Committee to Elect the Other Guy."

What? I'm the only one who sees these commercials?

Tonight, I sat with my eight-year-old daughter and watched the four leaders in a televised debate.

That made things worse.

"Those guys are boring," she said after a half hour of listening intently.

She's a perceptive one, my daughter.

And it struck me that soon I would have to make a choice between one of these four (OK, one of three - who's Duceppe kidding?) completely charisma-less, insincere, gabbling suits.

Maybe it's because American politics is a bit more exciting to watch for some reason.

Maybe they have more charismatic and commanding leaders and candidates.

I don't know what it is, but I didn't feel the old fire watching those four pasty white guys trade barbs and trying to hit their talking points.

So does that mean that this election I'm not going to vote?

Not on your life.

In the next few weeks, somebody will say something on an issue, or something will come up, to sway me one way or another.

So, like me, you should listen up - even if they're boring - and make up your mind too.

Who knows?

Maybe I'll get my video game tax break.

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