Today I voted. I participated in an advance poll to ensure that my voice is heard. I made sure to exercise my democratic right to help build a stronger nation. I did what comes so easy to us in Canada that others throughout the world are not able to do. And I left with a smile.
Why would I be smiling you ask?
It’s not that I believe I voted for the successful candidate – in fact, I can’t remember the last time I voted for my Member of Parliament. Nor was I smiling because the weather was nice. It wasn’t – it was pouring rain. I left with a smile on my face because I felt satisfaction that I was part of the process. I left with a smile on my face because my voice though one of many is still my voice and shall be heard.
And most importantly, I left with a smile on my face because I can take credit in keeping democracy alive.
You may say your voice isn’t heard. Well, if you don’t speak up then you’re probably right. You may also say that politicians of the day don’t respect what you have to say. This is also true if you choose not to use it. Or you may think that apathy is a stronger message. This is wrong. There are people who risk their lives to simply place a simple X in a box, and I feel that what they go through sends the stronger message.
Elections Canada statistics show that only 44% of eligible youth voters cast a ballot in the last election. Considering that these same statistics show that there are over 3 million young voters out there, the 1.68 million that did not vote could have easily determined the outcome of the election. Canada could have been lead by the party of the young voters choosing! How’s that for having a voice. And if you don’t believe me, why not listen to Rick Mercer who sums it up even better:
If you wish to ensure your voice is heard, use the many different resources that are available such as the Elections Canada site or CBC Vote Compass. As Rick Mercer says above, you’re not expected to vote so why not surprise those who doubt you – it will shake the country up more than you know! It will make this one of the most significant elections in the history of our country.
And that’s an election I’d be proud to say I was part of. Hopefully you would too!