Voting: What Happened To Us?

Two days ago in Alberta, we had our provincial election to determine who the next Premier would be. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the person in charge of running the province. The election was called a month ago.

It was a very long month.

Also, despite disliking politics to a very high degree, I do believe that every person should be informed about each political party’s platform in order to make an educated decision about how they will vote come election time.

Sadly, that doesn’t happen very often.

What we see every day on Twitter, Facebook, and various “news” sites are just a reflection of our fear, ignorance, and personal opinions on small sections of a platform or what we think we know about the politician(s) running. The amount of vitriol and shameful name calling, trash talk, and abusive conversations are a travesty and we should ALL aspire to be better than that.

Now, far be it from me to tell a person how to vote. I believe whole-heartedly in the (Canadian) electoral process and how it’s decided. It’s really simple. The political party with the most counted and collected votes, wins.

Simple.

What I don’t agree with, however, is people who don’t vote. Now, before you string me up from the rafters, let me clarify. If you decided not to vote because none of the political parties or candidates have absolutely nothing that syncs with your own values, beliefs, and things you want to see changed for the better in your riding/province/country, then by all means. However, that would be extremely (astronomically) unlikely.

What I do take issues with is people not voting because their reason is “if I don’t vote, nobody can blame me when things go south”. It also means you can’t whine and complain when the newly and democratically elected government does things that you don’t agree with and want them to change.

I mean, sure you can… but your opinion will be worthless because you HAD your shot and you didn’t take it.

There are countries in the world where people aren’t allowed to vote, are scared into not voting, or are told (under the watchful eye of armed government forces) who to vote for. By not taking advantage of your privilege to vote and perform your civic duty, you are not only doing yourself a disservice but also your riding/province/country.

Say what you will, but its important for every person that can vote, to do so. It’s the perfect way to let your voice be heard and to do your part in enacting change.

So… the next time an election comes up and you have the chance to cast your ballot, I hope you’ll do so.

Civic Duty.

It’s got my vote!

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