GET OUT AND VOTE!

Originally Posted: November 2, 2014

The Silly Season is upon us again as we in British Columbia ready ourselves for province-wide municipal elections. No sooner will they be complete, when the entire country will be charging headlong into a federal election in 2015. Unfortunately for the general public, all parties on all levels of government are in campaign mode all the time no matter where they are on the political spectrum. No wonder the general population is tuning out! We all have a case of Campaign Fatigue!

I have to say from the outset that I totally agree with the late George Carlin when he would go on his angry rants about how politicians of every stripe don’t give a shit about you, your family or your community! I believe that’s true. Here in Canada all elected officials may have good intentions when they first enter the game, but all too quickly all of them have to tow the party line as the Party Whips instruct them to…or else.

I also recognize something else, even though politicians don’t give a shit ninety-eight percent of the time, there is one day, perhaps the ONLY day when they truly do care about what we think, what we say, and more to the point, how we’re going to vote. That’s right, they DO care about us on Election Day! They care because their jobs are on the line, and let’s face it, nobody wants to be fired! So here is what is important. We as citizens have the power. Every politician of every political stripe is going to be watching what’s going to happen because elections determine who the public hires, who gets their contract renewed and who is fired, and that’s all down to us! So why not use that power we have? Even if it is only for that one day, it’s our day to have our say. It’s our day to really let our voices be heard! It’s our opportunity to remind our elected officials that they are in OUR employ, not the other way around. Please, GET OUT AND VOTE!

As we have seen in other countries, our rights and freedoms can be taken from us too easily. And luckily for Canadians, not only politicians but Elections Canada as well as a number of community organizations will make sure that as many people get to the polls as possible. If you’re physically challenged there will be rides available to make sure you can exercise your franchise. There are advanced polls set up in case you will not be around on election day. And, as in my case this year with the Vancouver municipal election, a mail-in process is available so I can pick up my ballots at the Elections Office, show them my government-issued photo ID, fill out my ballots and mail them in. There is no excuse not to vote. Let’s take advantage of that one day when all of our elected officials truly do care about our voices, and others are there to ensure we get the chance to make sure our voices are heard. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the other citizens of our cities, our provinces, and our country. The real power is in our hands, let’s not fritter the opportunity away!

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