As a followup to my “voting conundrum”, in the end I chose a third option: submitting a blank ballot. This seemed to be the best way to protest the choices presented to us and, more importantly, our electoral system than simply refusing to participate, which, though miniscule in the grand scheme of things, could be misinterpreted as apathy rather than alienation. As insignificant as it is my protest is registered (officially) in some form or other. At the very least it counts as much as a vote for a losing candidate.
Though given democracy’s inherent flaws I tend to favor the centre among political parties, in the end I simply did not feel comfortable compromising on what I believed in by voting for the more Liberal incumbant as a counterbalance to the right-wing Conservative challenger given that the axis of Canadian politics, and the political life of Western countries in general, have shifted so far to the right.