Give Canada the right to vote
This may be the most important election we have zero control over in our lifetimes.
Hey America. Your buddy Canada here.
Sorry, I know you’re super busy, but do you have a minute to hear us out?
See, this election — your election — it’s pretty much all we can talk about. It’s keeping us up at night. It’s causing heated arguments with friends and relatives. We’re there for you if you need us, but we need help too.
Weird, right? I mean, you would never worry that much about who’s gonna be prime minister. It’s a feat when you even remember who our prime minister is. Hard to blame you.
But your election, on the other hand. Well, it may be the most important election that we have zero control over in our lifetimes.
Every four years, we Canadians are harshly reminded of one thing: that we are not Americans.
Normally we are annoyingly smug about this. It’s truly one of our worst qualities.
But on election day, especially one as consequential as this week’s, we’d do anything to have a say in the outcome.
We’ll be up late, binge-eating American junk food, binge-watching American newscasts, doomscrolling American Twitter, glued to FiveThirtyEight and whatever the New York Times uses to replace its terrifying needles of 2016.
How can we possibly sleep when the neighbours are making so much noise? So we will be just as anxiously watching the election results as Americans are, only with an added dose of utter powerlessness.
To be Canadian is to know the pain of disenfranchisement.
C’mon neighbours. Can’t you at least let us pretend that we matter? This election has grand consequences well beyond your own borders, and thanks to our sheer proximity and our many shared cultural and economic ties, Canada (along with Mexico) has more stake in the outcome than other countries.
We’d settle for one vote. Not one vote per person. One for the whole country — perhaps cast by whoever is currently prime minister, or chosen by a quadrennial lottery. It could then be added to the ballot pool in our 11th province, Florida.
Sure, it would be largely a ceremonial ballot, but it would be our ceremonial ballot. And who knows, someday, in some future election, that one vote could decide the presidency.
Think about it, will you?
American politics is just too important to be left in the hands of Americans.
Your smug neighbours.
A Canadian non-voter’s guide to not voting in the American election
Are you one of the millions of Canadians swept up in the ongoing drama of the U.S. presidential sweepstakes this week? Here’s a handy guide to the zero ways you can help affect the outcome in this and any other American election.
Visit the usa.gov page for requesting an absentee ballot. Confirm that you can’t do this because you’re Canadian.
Find a sample ballot from the state you wish to not vote in and familiarize yourself with the candidates for president, senate and house of representatives. This ensures that you will be an informed non-voting non-citizen, a not-vital part of any democracy.
On Election Day, assuming you haven’t already not voted, make sure you don’t line up extra early in your preferred precinct, leaving yourself plenty of time to not vote.
Buy yourself a button that says “I didn’t vote.” Wear it proudly. You’ve earned it.
Like what you see here? Leave a comment. Tell your friends. And click that little ♡ button. It’s almost as satisfying as not voting.