Rally stresses right to vote

The importance of voting will be front and centre at Nanaimo City Hall on Tuesday (Oct. 28).

The importance of voting will be a subject that will be stressed at Nanaimo City Hall Tuesday (Oct. 28).

The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society is hosting the My Vote is My Voice Rally Tuesday. Hilde Schlosar, executive director, said anyone is welcome and pointed to the fact that only 26 per cent of Nanaimoites turned out to vote in the 2011 election.

“We know that a lot of people come from countries who don’t have the right to vote, or to vote freely for the people that they choose. We want to share how significant that is with the community because a lot of Canadians who were born here don’t exercise their right to vote and I think they don’t realize how lucky they are,” Schlosar said.

Rim Shin is a naturalized Canadian citizen hailing from South Korea who said she is planning to cast a ballot on Nov. 15. She said voting is important because it exercises her right to practise democracy and allows her the opportunity to give her opinion.

Like Nanaimo, South Korea is also suffering through some voter apathy but the government is actively trying to increase voters, Shin said.

“Government is trying to encourage young people to vote using [social networking] and mobile [devices],” Shin said.

The multicultural society encourages new Canadians to take advantage of the right to vote.

“Voting and running for office are the only two rights and freedoms that you get in addition to those that you already have as a landed immigrant or permanent resident,” Schlosar said. “Becoming a citizen means you can exercise your right to vote. So we feel it’s an important message.”

The rally will be held at noon on Tuesday.