Your vote matters!

You can help stop the rush to self-disenfranchisement.

Carolyn Grant

Left or right? Up or down? Original recipe or extra crispy? Cheech or Chong? Bieber or Jepson?

I think you all know what I’m going to say. Think about it. Tomorrow is election day in B.C. What am I going to to say?

That’s right. Get out and vote. Get up tomorrow and march, with a quickness, to your designated polling station and exercise your democratic right to have a say in who leads your country, province or municipality — in this case, province.

Please.

It’s so important and it’s so disheartening to see what is happening to voting stats in less than a generation. How can we go so quickly from a nation who turned out in large numbers to a nation who can barely summon the will to care?

I’ve heard all the reasons, which are actually just excuses.

All politicians are the same, it doesn’t matter who wins. That’s a most popular excuse. To which I say, yes it does matter. Are they all the same? In some ways, yes, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’ve met pretty well all the candidates in both Columbia River-Revelstoke and Kootenay East and they do have much in common. All are pretty nice people, who really have a desire to make a difference. They are not inherently evil, rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation of burning your tax money in a giant garbage can behind the Legislature in Victoria.

These are people seeking a career in public service and despite a pretty nice pension package, it’s not a fast track to personal wealth. It is a career which demands countless hours away from family, countless hours on the road (especially in our rural ridings), countless doors to knock on, meetings — endless meetings  — and long legislative sessions.

But it’s important work and we should at least be concerned enough about who will be doing it to cast our ballots for the candidate whose party best represents what we feel is important.

My vote doesn’t matter. This one really makes me itchy. Yes, it does! It does! We need people to vote. Do you want to live in a society where the leader is decided because he or she is the one who got the majority of votes from the 30 or so per cent of the population who chose to bother to vote? Do you want to be led by someone who got 36 per cent of the 36 per cent? That’s not a mandate, but it will be taken as one by said leader.

With the way our voting rates are dropping in Canada, we are on a fast track to elections that are about as meaningful as those in China. Or Russia. We’re going to wake up one day — after an election day that no one bothered to think about — and find ourselves with a Putin in the Premier’s chair. You know what Putin did in Russia, right? He simply found ways to circumvent their ‘democratic’ process and become leader for life.

I wonder if anyone would notice if the same thing happened in Canada? Or care?

We live in a democracy — at least for now. In a democracy we have the right to free will. We can decided what we want to do for a living, where we want to live, who we can marry, how many children we can have.

And we have the right to decide who leads us.

Let’s get our collective fannies to the polling places tomorrow and do that.

Carolyn Grant is the Editor of the

Kimberley Daily Bulletin