None of the Above

In the 1985 film “Brewster’s Millions”, Richard Pryor plays a man who has the chance to inherit 300 million dollars. The stipulation for his inheritance is that he has to recklessly spend 30 million dollars in a month, in order to learn the value of a dollar. This means that he has to blow through a vast sum of money and have nothing to show for it at the end of the month. To top it all off, he’s not allowed to disclose his mission to anyone.

He can donate 5% to charity and gamble away another 5%, but other than that he has to find ways to spend the money without wasting it. He checks himself in to the most expensive hotel in New York, and hires a personal staff at way above market rates. He pays to have the New York Yankees play an exhibition game against the Hackensack Bulls, a minor league team that Brewster pitches for.

Perhaps the most ingenious use of his money is a brief foray into politics. Brewster realizes that the two candidates for Mayor of New York are equally terrible so he starts a political campaign to urge people to vote for “none of the above”. If the available candidates are bad choices, then voters deserve the chance to voice that opinion.

Brewster's Millions (1985) Universal Pictures

This is how I feel about the looming Canadian federal election. There are a slew of weak options for us to choose from, and the deadline is fast approaching. In a matter of weeks the balance of power in Ottawa will shift once again. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the people vying for your votes.

Justin Trudeau: The incumbent Prime Minister of Canada was a breath of fresh air after a decade of Harper conservative rule, but that fresh air was quickly tainted by cotton candy flavoured vape clouds. He made Canada a world leader for those seeking refugee status and legalized marijuana on a national level, but that’s where I start running out of good things to say about him. The SNC-Lavalin affair will be a stain on his tenure as PM, as well as his failure to overhaul our ridiculous electoral system. Perhaps his worst move as PM was the decision to purchase the Trans-Mountain pipeline. It was obviously an attempt to garner support in Alberta, but it cost him support from his more environmentally minded voters. Someone should have told Justin that “haters goanna hate” and that trying to please Alberta is a fool’s errand. He also sold arms to Saudi Arabia, which isn’t a good look.

Elizabeth May: Honestly, I like Elizabeth May because I think she has a lot of good ideas. The problem with the Green Party is that nobody votes for them. They will probably win one or two seats in the coming election. Without the power of a voting block, there’s little that the Greens can ever accomplish in parliament. This is why Canadians wanted an overhaul of the electoral system, so that we could cast a vote for the smaller party without “wasting” our vote. Under the current system you either vote for the winner or your vote goes in the trash. Most Canadians are in favour of a ranked voting system, where you can vote for multiple candidates on the same ballot. That way if your first choice has no chance of winning, your vote moves to your second choice. This would allow more Canadians to vote for the candidates who best represent our values, but that didn’t pan out… Thanks Justin.

Jagmeet Singh: Who? Seriously, what is this guy’s deal? He’s been the leader of the federal NDP for two years at this point and I have heard almost nothing about him. I mean if you don’t have much to talk about in terms of policy, at least steal a page out of Trudeau’s playbook and go shirtless jogging every other day. Literally all I know about Jagmeet is that he got married (congrats bro) and that racist Canadians can’t tell the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim. This is actually one of the best things about the Singh brothers. They’ve both been confronted by racist baby boomers ranting about “sharia law” and they’ve both diffused the situation with grace and dignity.

Maxime Bernier: This guy is like 8chan and r/the_donald had a baby. Screw him and his populist crap. I like living in a country that celebrates ethnic diversity. They should rename the PPC to the IPC, for Incel’s Party of Canada.

Andrew Scheer: Andy owes Maxime Bernier a debt of gratitude. If it weren’t for Bernier and the PPC, Andrew Scheer would be the biggest turd running for PM. If Justin Trudeau doesn’t win the next election then it will undoubtedly go to Andy. Maybe that doesn’t bother you, but the regressive right wing has a lot of terrible ideas. Scheer has been running on the “putting more money in your pocket” shtick, which is just code for cutting social programs. So you’ll pay a little bit less in taxes under a conservative government, but you’ll also get less help from them. The most vulnerable Canadians will do much worse under a conservative government. We also can’t forget that it’s the conservatives who always want to intertwine their religion with their government policy. They’re anti-abortion, anti-gay, and anti-drug. Fun group of people huh? If Scheer thinks he can undo the legalization of marijuana, good luck getting that genie back in the bottle.

In a few weeks from now we will all be tasked with the decision of picking one of these less than stellar candidates. In an alternate universe where Justin Trudeau delivered on the election reform he promised us, my ranked ballot in the upcoming election would look like this:

1. None of the above
2. Elizabeth May
3. The ghost of Jack Layton
4. Justin Trudeau

Unfortunately though you only get one vote, and it either gets counted or thrown in the trash. Pick the best of the bad options, even if your heart is screaming “NONE OF THE ABOVE!”.

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