The Morality Behind Each Vote

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Since grade ten Civics, most Ontarian students are challenged with the moral implications of political choices, and possibly given some direction towards specific political views. It was taught that every vote counts, literally meaning each vote is counted once. In reality, each vote is actually quite insignificant. The final result of the election is determined based on what everyone votes on as a collective. Although one vote does not have any actual weight, the intentions behind it carry deep meaning. Each vote is made with definite opinion, but what if such an opinion had a moral counterpart? Now, voting becomes a debate of one’s morality. Often this is easily overlooked; morality is clouded by the emotions of the voter. To make a choice morally, the person must be responsible for knowledge on the election. Next, they must use said knowledge in a rational manner, and not fear dispute on their primary choice. Lastly, the person must have a positive intellectual virtue which correlates with moral attitude. October twenty-first, 2019, was my first voting experience, and the above three points are what I was considering prior to concluding on a decision for the 2019 Canadian federal elections.

Firstly, voter knowledge is crucial during an election, platforms for parties change every election, even if it is just a minor moral adjustment. I tried my best to stay up to date with my knowledge on electoral leaders’ debates, watching the debate which occurred on September eleventh, 2019. The topics covered in this debate are the economy, Indigenous issues, the environment and foreign policy. However, the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, did not attend this debate. Perhaps some of my views are skewed by not having all of the leaders information on their platform. My personal moral obligation was to check each platform, and understand the difference between each. After looking through information, I decided that I most identified with the Green Party of Canada. The Green Party itself identifies with the big four candidates: temperance, justice, piety, and courage, which were all identified by Socrates as individual virtues. In other words, this party encompasses all of the aspects that are critical to bringing a positive change, since they are driven by moral obligation. To not appear subjective towards the Green Party, I also identified that the New Democratic Party (NDP) is also morally worthy of a vote. To conclude with the gathering of knowledge, I can positively, and morally state that I identify with two parties.

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Next, I must argue that rationality is critical for registering and understanding the knowledge gained in part one. At a glance, rationality in a moral sense suggests that one should vote for the common good, rather than narrow self-interested views. In no way this is stating that one should vote based on their concept of the common good, it must be a justified belief that promotes the common good. The notion of common good must be interpreted from it’s meaning; the benefit or in the interest of all. Whichever conclusion I came to for the common good had to include a thought for everyone’s well-being and prosperity. Although even with defining common good through justification and reason, the definition will still appear to be subjective. Personally, I wanted to focus research on economic prosperity, health services, environmental conservation, foreign policies, and fair treatment in all aspects, regardless of personal economic standing. This is a very vague, and subjective outline of what I was considering as some of the topics which are part of the common good, but it is also justified with facts from the political party platforms. On this basis, my moral decision on whom to vote for is rational. After consideration, I once again came to the conclusion of the vote towards the Green Party, due to the leader’s plentiful credentials.

Finally, the last two points are tied together with one’s moral attitude. In an ideally moral situation, one’s moral attitude would be identified with the big four candidates. A person that has no prior biases on the elections, and their choice is not pre-chosen before going through the first two steps above, would have intellectual and moral virtue. Aristotle noted that virtue, whether it is intellectual or moral, comes with practice rather than instruction. Virtues are habits, it's how one thinks and interprets everything, of all truths and ultimate good. Therefore, if one has predetermined views that are not based on virtue then their vote is essentially corrupt, perhaps they would even be considered ignorant to virtue. Personally, I see these types of voters as polluters of democracy, due to their subjective opinion there is a higher chance that more people will suffer from poor governance. I can admit that I held a bias view prior to this election, but once the time came to research I made sure to approach everything with an objective view. With this I can conclude that my intention for the election is nothing but morally justifiable.

The votes are in, the polls are counted, and the expectations of many are fulfilled rather than unsettled. If that is true, then where the elections predetermined choices prior to the actual vote of each individual? To understand this, I would have to seek the understanding of each voter' knowledge of platforms, their ability to rationalize and seek a justified meaning of the common good, as well as, their intellectual and moral virtue. As for myself, knowing that my vote is insignificant in my conservative driven riding, I still went through with my beliefs. After casting my vote, I could not feel anything but relief, because I voted for what I truly and morally believe is right. Although my view is transcendent in my opinion, I will not be able to reach the ultimate truth and right. In the occasion that my choice was morally sufficient, perhaps morality in a political sense is unattainable in today’s world due to other higher weighing matters.

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The Morality Behind Each Vote. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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