Voting day is almost upon us. On Monday (Oct. 19), the federal election campaign will come to an end, and the time will come for us to exercise our right, our privilege and our responsibility.
There is every reason to vote. The Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and Greens have had 11 weeks to convince us of the comparative merits of their parties, their policies and their priorities. We’re being offered totally different visions of what Canada means, and more importantly, what it can mean. It’s a wide spectrum. Anyone who argues that all politicians are the same simply haven’t been paying close enough attention. This election, or any election, shapes Canadian identity, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly.
It’s true that a lot of what we’ve been hearing these many weeks are just promises, and some of the promises won’t be kept. But that doesn’t mean we’re hearing nothing but lies – we’re hearing goals and aspirations and they’re worthy ones. We should believe, to some extent, and we should hope, always.
This election matters to all of us. What happens in Ottawa resonates here. The federal government has a say on matters that affect our very households, not to mention our neighbourhoods, city, province, nation, the rest of the world and the planet Earth.
Some will tell us to vote because people have fought and died for our democratic rights, and certainly that’s a fair point. But elections are less about our country’s past, and more about its future. If we’re unhappy with the last government, that’s fine, as long as we’re thinking about what’s next. Maybe change will bring a better Canada. Maybe we should change this way, or that way.
Even before we mark our ballots on voting day, we will make a decision: to vote, or to do nothing. Will we be the ones who will care about Canada? And if not us, then whom?