Federal politics has a huge effect on our daily lives. It determines what kind of social programs we have access to, or lack thereof; how much tax money will be deducted off our earnings, and what return we will see for those tax dollars.
The Federal Government serves as our face on the world stage. How we are perceived as a nation is determined not only by our own personal actions at home and abroad, but also by the actions of our elected officials and the choices they make.
There is a lot riding on your vote. Please, don’t think for one minute that it doesn’t matter. It does! In a democracy it is the only voice you have to say, “I agree!” to whomever represents your interests the best. It is a small way for you to say, “I live here, this is my home, and I know how I want to see it run!” If current events say anything to you, they should be saying, “VOTE!” People are dying for the freedom of choice we enjoy in Canada – literally.
Beyond just the importance of your vote is educating yourself in order to make that vote really count. My advice is don’t vote rigidly for one party because it’s your long standing tradition, or how you were raised. Vote on the issues that speak to you, regardless of party lines. Listen to what each candidate has to say.
Forget the myth that politics are boring. Politics are exciting. Sports fans could equate politics to horse racing (first past the post), baseball (hitting a policy home run), or hockey (dropping the gloves and throwing a good punch at the opposition, or scoring a goal in the five hole when the other team isn’t looking).
Movie and book lovers can equate politics to a good romance, drama, mystery or sometimes, a chilling horror! Love reality TV? Some of the so called reality shows are nothing compared to the drama that occurs in the House of Commons every so often. Try watching CPAC for an afternoon. The shouting and insults could curl the toes of the best “trash TV” lover.
Apathy is boring. And it can be deadly. If we are not careful about who we elect, it can be harmful to us as a whole. As I stated above, politics affects us in so many ways that we need to make informed choices. Don’t vote based strictly on tradition and allegiance. Vote on the issues that matter to you. Educate yourself on those issues and use the reasoning skills you were born with to come to a decision worthy of your time to cast that vote.