O Elections Canada!
I am a transwoman. I changed my name legally in 2008. For over 11 years Elections Canada has sent me a voting card in my dead (male) name. If you believe that Canada’s national sport is hockey, you are wrong; apologizing over and over again, even for no reason, trumps hockey. If I had a penny for every apology I have received since 2008, Jeff Bezos’ fortune would pale in comparison. Nobody has been able to give me a straight answer as to why this is happening, nobody seems to know where EC gets their information. I have been given the run-around time and again, and again, and again. I have sent copies of my documents to EC way too many times. I have made innumerable phone calls; I have sent a myriad of Emails… The last time I got my voting card I went to the media; a very nice gentleman called EC and they were very “cooperative”; rather than saying that they couldn’t discuss the matter, they apologized (again) and said that the issue would be taken care of (again) I got a call (again) from a very nice lady (again) who for the first time told me the truth: She couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again (?) but said that “hopefully” that wouldn’t be the case. (An honest answer after 11 years is actually quite a big deal…)
This time around EC didn’t even bother to send me a voting card. I checked the registry and, alas! I still don’t exist. Not that I am surprised…
I have questioned for some time why I have tried to right this wrong so hard and for so long and every time I have said to myself that, coming from a communist country, where voting for the one and only party was a joke, it was my civil duty to vote and contribute to the democratic process in my adoptive country. I have told myself that people died so that I had the right to vote and make a difference and that they deserved my homage and commitment. I have told myself that becoming a Canadian citizen was a privilege and that voting was part of that privilege.
I have ended up telling myself that 11 years is enough. It’s time to surrender and raise that white flag: Elections Canada is so incompetent that hoping that this will change is just another big fat joke. I have lost every ounce of faith in the system. If these are the gatekeepers of the democratic process, how can I trust them? How can I trust that they do their job and vote-counting is accurate or that even my vote makes a difference? Hell, no! I have decided that, since I don't exist for EC, the voting process does not exist either. Will never bother to vote again. It will not make any difference anyway.
I am at peace with my decision.
Thank you and congrats, Elections Canada!! You win.