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.