So the votes are in and Harper’s Conservatives are back, with a slightly improved position.
I am not a passionately political person, and I have a whole lot of trouble getting excited about the options. The platforms all had some nugget that I liked and something I didn’t like. The leaders are not awe inspiring and in some ways the choice of leader was the “lesser of the evils” rather than an inspiring leader. The local candidates in my riding range from a sitting Liberal who always wins to some newbies … not all that exciting.
However … I voted. I made the very small effort that involved putting on a sweater and walking down to the voting booth several streets from my home.
Last night about 10 million Canadian voters chose not to bother! The voter turnout was less than 60% … a record low. Record apathy!
Why should you vote?
1. Millions of people have fought in World Wars to preserve our right to democracy. My Dad fought in the second world war and for him the thought of not voting, based on that experience alone, was just not an option.
2. There are millions of people in oppressed lands around the world who do not have the opportunity to vote.
3. People often think that as one person they are not going to make a difference … well 10 million additional voters last night might have made a big difference. We might have a majority government today, or we might have a different party in power … we’ll never know.
4. If you don’t vote then you have no right to complain about anything our government does, or does not do!
5. The honour of holding Canadian citizenship comes with certain expectations … and I think that one of them is to be a part of choosing the direction for this country.
My view of the result is that (a) It would have been nice to see a majority government in power with the ability to actually execute on their plans without being hamstrung by political bargaining. and (b) I also think that a return of the Conservatives brings some additional stability at a time when our financial markets NEED stability.
The biggest issue with this election was the voter apathy … and I think it is a poor reflection on our society. If voting was not a VERY high priority for you yesterday then maybe you need to revisit your priorities.