October 25th, 2012 Spark Comic #52 - Voting
First off, let me apologize for taking a month long hiatus and for getting this comic out so late in the week. I didn't want to, but with all my assignments piling up, I had no choice but spending all my time on assignments. In exchange, I introduce my comic alter-ego, your Friendly Neighbourhood Sparktacular Sparky-Man. Second, I know the topic of this comic is not going to be a popular one. However, with the upcoming US election, I felt this was something that needed to be done. I wanted to post it up earlier, but I was busy and figure if I don't put this comic up immediately, there's going to be no point to it. I design this to be (hopefully) somewhat friendly to those who aren't interested in political stuff. There is a REALLY important message I want all of you to take from this following write up and I hope you can bear with me for both my delays and this topic which you may detest, but I hope you read it and it drives your interest in politics.
For years, I have been interested in politics. When I was little, even when I had no idea about what happened in the political world, I've always wanted to vote. Overtime, I started paying attention to the news in my early teens and eventually began to pick up on how politics works and contrary to popular belief, it can be exciting to learn about certain things like why a policy is better for you and your country or not. My civics class in High School drove this interest further and I also studied economics and law. While it can be hard to wrap your head around politics and legal processes at first and it can get much more complicated later, it is definitely worthwhile to learn.
Despite this, I know a plethora of people who have no interest in politics or voting, something which I think is a huge tragedy. While I don't come crashing trough people's windows, I do often have talks about this with friends and colleagues and it irks me how politically ignorant many people are and it's even more disturbing that most of them are PROUD of that ignorance. The first 2 panels are roughly based on an actual conversation I had with someone, and while I do respect them personally, I can't really respect that point of very. This is NOT something anyone should be ignorant about. Whether you like it or not, politics affects you directly and indirectly on every level of your life. You may not have an interest in politics, but politics will ALWAYS have an interest in you. Yet, most people still refuse to listen and, even worse, ignore there very important political power: Voting. Voting is incredibly powerful, it gives YOU (yes, you), the power to choose the direction of your country, your community, your region/state/province. Everything. YOU have the power to decide who gets put into a political office and what issues are addressed and how they are handled. Despite this, people have the tendency to complain about how bad politics is without either knowing how politics (or society for that matter) actually works, nor what is so utterly bad about politics that they should ignore it. If you want a change, VOTE. Otherwise, you have no right to complain about how bad politics are. Meanwhile, throughout our history books we are shown what happens in a lack of democracy where the people mean absolutely nothing. We've seen what happens in monarchies, facism, and today's corrupt regimes where people have fought and died for the sake of the life and liberty that our own countries stand on and give them their freedoms, and yet we act like this is a curse. In a democracy, the people can help their heroes get into a position to help their country. If we don't vote, we let the bad guys win, no matter who actually wins the election. The greatest threat to democracy is not corrupt politicians, but society's unwillingness to vote and with voter turnouts always coming in at record lows within the past decade, democracy, our country and our way of life are in danger.
When you vote, you are electing a leader. Someone who you think, based on their character and promises will lead you down a better road. Electing or allowing a bad or corrupt leader to take power can be very destructive. Both World Wars featured the WORST of this. These days, this can lead to a decline in your country or livelihood. As small examples, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Rob Ford has done deadly damage to Toronto cutting off funding to countless groups, disrespecting the populace, and getting away with assaulting a reporter. Stephen Harper has tried to cater to the needs of the US instead of his own country many times, was found in contempt of Parliament, censors scientific articles, constantly attempts to undermine Canadian rights, and tries to refuse charges of election fraud. Both men meet on a regular basis instead of having progressive talks with most other political parties. These barely scratch the surface when it comes to the very bad political crap they've pulled
. While I'm proud to be Canadian, most of these men make me ashamed of my government. Despite all the bad things they and their associates have done, nobody will vote them out or at least vote to give them less political power when given. The chance. When it came to Rob Ford, I'm part of that. I've been interested in voting since I was a child, but the first time I had the chance to vote, I made the excuse that I was "busy" and now I'm stuck with him. To me, I've failed my city and learned my lesson to always vote. To always use whatever power I have to help improve the politicial world. Be this through voting or things like online protesting. In the US, many politicians who are in power and yet constantly make insulting remarks regarding things like rape
. Multiple politicians who were voted in power led to the recent world recession which saw millions losing their jobs and that we've slowly crawled out of. You remember SOPA? That came because very bad politicians were voted into office. As soon as something like this happens, we need to get our voices heard and take them out of power as soon as possible. We made our voices heard during the SOPA blackout which made everyone suddenly interested in politics for a moment and together, with citizens from all around the world, we stopped it and next Europe banded together to stop ACTA (Our next threat is the [link]
). We can't be interested in Politics when shit suddenly hits the fan. We need to be interested in politics and rally against things like that either early or pre-emptively or else this will keep happening and we will eventually lose as the public is blissfully unaware of all the rights constantly being taken away from them, including the right to vote
. Whoever is voted President Of The United States affects not just the US, but the whole world. And before you say things like "Both candidates are crooks", or "Nothing will change". I want you to think about something: How different would our world be if, in 2001, Al Gore became the President instead of George W. Bush. If that happened, the world would be drastically different than it is today. Think about it.
If you want to get started researching politics, and you have no excuse not to, it's easy. Google is your friend. All you need to do is start looking and you'll find LOTS of information. When you're starting to look into politics or law, it's best to find an issue or topic you're genuinely interested in. For example, I'm very interested in politics, human rights and online freedom so I often search up issues about those. Human rights and political stories can be found in a variety of places such as Human Rights Watch
and even your local newspaper (Though this is less reliable for getting an early jump on things). Online rights can be found in many other places such as TechDirt
, Michael Geist
, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation
. All these sites are merely examples to get you started on issues like these. There are MUCH more sources you could use, but these are just to jumpstart your research. When you read something, however, don't always take it as face value. Always wonder why they are proposing something, what it will really do, how it will affect yourself and others and if it's best for your country/community. Some media sources tend to lie or have slight bias (NEVER listen to FOX News without doing research, they are well known liars with a bias favoring radical conservative/republican views), so it's always good to ask questions and delve into further research because there's always more info under the surface, especially about the successes and failings of politicians like President Obama of the past 4 years. Like they say in Inception, you should "go deeper" and fact check everything and everyone you read or hear about (Even me). It may sound like a lot of work, but if you can latch onto something you're interested in, even in politics, it becomes exciting to learn more. When issues arrive, be they concerned with online freedom, human and consumer rights, environmental issues and more, make sure you are aware of that. When you protest or vote, you should be aware of who you're voting for or against and why and the powers of whoever you're against (For example, believe it or not, the President of the US is not all powerful, in fact they don't have as much power as people think for good reason), not for stupid reasons. Don't vote or not vote for Mitt Romney just because he's not Obama. Likewise, don't vote or not vote for Obama just because he's black (Which is an annoying stereotype I'm often accused of because I am black). Be mature, smart adults and vote based on the facts and the issues that you research. Vote for them because of their policies, integrity, willingness to tell the truth, and who's best for both you and your country. Also note, you're not just voting in a person, but the principles of the party they're associated with. Discover the true meaning of words and ideologies such "capitalism", "socialism", "communism", and "facism" through some decent research on them, instead of just throwing the word around for no good reason like many people do (For example, I bet you didn't know that communism had it's own form of voting elections, but only within one party or who Karl Marx is... Go on, look it up!) To understand politics is to understand the world.
If you've stuck by my long essay about politics this long. Congratulations! You get a cookie. I thank you for reading this. Believe it or not, I'm actually cutting this short, as I could go on and on with this in much more detail if I wanted to. I am extremely passionate about this topic and I hope you understand why I'm tackling it. I ask you to please vote and exercise your political power as citizens as politics is more of a big deal than you may realize. I personally stand as a liberal/democrat
on the Political Spectrum
and, in the US, I think Obama's actually done VERY good things these past four years (Though there are also quite a few things that him and the Democratic party have done that I don't agree with) despite the Republicans actively trying to stop him and waterdown/eliminate the changes he's put forward every step of the way, but I'm not telling you who to vote for. All that matters is that you use your democratic superpower to vote for someone and take all the steps that nobody, not even the government takes that away from you (especially since politicians, mainly Republicans, have been trying to do voter suppression recently, as shown previously in this writing).
I hope neither this comic nor this long speech has sounded too preachy. I also hope that this inspires you to get interesed in politics and ENCOURAGE you to show this comic to people who are politically ignorant or apathetic or post it up in places where people who aren't interested in politics can see it. Inspire others to vote and have a say in their future. If I can get even ONE person interested in the political world and/or vote, it means I've done my job. I hope that, despite what is probably an unpopular topic, you enjoyed this comic and maybe even learned a few things. I'm glad I could get this message out.
See you next comic!