Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rocking the Vote

Yesterday was Election Day in Canada.

This morning we awoke to the news that Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party remains in power, still with a minority government, although slightly stronger than the last time.

What does this mean? I have no idea. I don't follow politics very closely, and although I've been paying a little more attention to the news the past few weeks with our world being thrust into economic turmoil and uncertainty, I still wasn't certain who to vote for yesterday.

I wasn't surprised to hear that yesterday's polls had the lowest voter turn-out in history. Over the past weeks, I've heard many people from my age group saying they weren't going to vote, because they didn't care or they didn't understand enough about it to make an educated decision.

On one hand, I understood how they felt. Having not paid much attention to the campaigns myself, I wasn't sure who was the best candidate, or who would be the smartest choice during this "economic storm", as they call it.

And yet, I went out and voted yesterday. Partly from fear, because, as I hear so many voices from my generation declaring it's pointless and that they could care less, I'm scared of where we could be someday when it's our turn to run the show. I'd like to believe we are a strong, intelligent, capable generation, but as voter turn-out decreases each time, it frightens me that we're being too careless, too comfortable with the fact that we've had to face little hardship and strife.

Another reason I voted? Hell, because I can. Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are to have the right to vote. In so many places around this globe, people cower in fear of dictators, silenced into submission, not allowed to have a voice or a vote. Living in Canada, in a democracy that allows me to have a say in where my country is headed - that's a true blessing. As my dad reminds me every time an election comes around, there are many men and women who have died and continue to fight and die for my right to vote. To just shrug and say "I don't care" is to disrespect them and all that they have done for us.

If I'm being entirely honest, I get a little rush out of going down to the poll and casting my vote. It's an empowering feeling, knowing that, in some small way, I have contributed. I have let my country know where I stand, and who I believe will be the best leader as we face dark times ahead.

Now it's up to Stephen Harper to prove to me that he is that leader.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

i voted but pretty much based on ricky's vote cuz i had no idea what anything was about - all i did know was that i wanted to vote for NDP because he would help get more childcare and stuff and that IS on my list of politic duties...someone can give me more money than 100 a month for having a child - 100 a month for childcare - well hello, i pay 125 a WEEK, and because we make too much, I get 33 bucks a month for baby bonus - hello, doesnt even buy a thing of diapers...so my initial thought was to vote NDP but Ricky says that its a long shot that they even get in, so i casted my vote to keep Ricky working!!

Stacy

Jill said...

I voted based on what I garnered from listening to my family talk about pros and cons of certain leaders. In Quebec, things are a little more tricky, especially for an anglophone like me who despises the Bloq and all they stand for. Casting a vote for the NDP takes away from the Torys and the Liberals, the only two parties that are any real opposition to the Bloq. Also, as Sue pointed out last week, it's easy for the NDP to make promises they know they'll likely never have to back up, because they'll never get into power.
In any case - awesome that you voted, that's the main thing!!!

Sharon said...

I went out and voted too... I voted Green because if no one ever votes for them, then they will never get up in numbers. I refuse to vote to win. I want to place my vote where I will feel comfortable.

Wayne went out and voted too... just for me : ) I told him it was very important for him to do so, so he did.

Kathleen said...

I voted Liberal out of my respect for the party and Stephane Dion. I thought he got an unfair rap in the press because he was skinny and geeky. The man has done an awful lot for Canada (please google The Clarity Act) and is absolutely despised by the separatists in Quebec. I also think that Harper is a dangerous idealogue who is ok with a leash that is a minority government. I hate the Bloc too, but last night they did a great service for Canada keeping Harper away from that majority. If it weren't for Quebec and Toronto keeping it real, we'd be staring at a Harper majority...yikes. I'll never bash the city of Toronto again.
Anyone who thinks a vote for the Cons is a vote for stable economic times is sadly kidding themselves. Tory times are bad times. Ever hear of Brian Mulroney? After this collective brain fart of a reign Justin Trudeau will have an awfully big mess to clean up.

Jill said...

I did have a problem voting for Stephane Dion - nothing I saw of him impressed me. However, my dad did mention at one point that he thought he was a very intelligent man - one of those people who is so smart that they come off awkward and dumb. In any case, I was looking more locally at what Lawrence Cannon has done for our riding - having met him once, he didn't strike me as being so much of a slimy politician, so that's why he got my vote.

Now Justin Trudeau - that's a Liberal PM I could get behind. I look forward to the day that I get to cast a vote for him.

Kathleen said...

Lawrence Cannon has done NOTHING for the riding of Pontiac, in fact more people voted against him then for him, he can thank the Bloc for being elected. He is the empitome of a slimey politician. Did you know that he is formerly a provincial Liberal and comes from a solid Liberal family? He chose to run as a Con because he thought they had the best chance at winning, he is just a pure opportunist. He doesn't even live in the riding.
Dion's problem is that he is a man of principle. He could have won the election had he run a negative campaign like Harper and dropped the Green Shift. Instead he tried to run on substance and was called a nerd by a Canadian public who still hates the teacher. In twenty years people will wring their hands and wonder why they didn't vote for the nice gentleman with the awkward english.
If the Tories keep getting in then Justin will have a HUGE mess to clean up in about ten years. I'm not worried, I know he's capable and his party has a history of cleaning up after the Tories shit the bed.