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EDITORIAL: Educated vote makes impact

It’s four days to the federal election – do you know where your vote lies?

It’s four days to the federal election – do you know where your vote lies?

In Nanaimo’s two constituencies, the candidates have been out and about for the past month trying to get their key messages across to voters.

It’s the same story in 308 ridings all across the country, as political hopefuls try to convince their neighbours they, and their respective party and leader, offer the best opportunity to represent the communities’ particular interests in Ottawa.

With waves of information from competing candidates and parties, it’s understandable voters might have trouble determining how to cast their ballot.

But it’s crucial people get educated on the parties, the individual candidates and what they stand for.

Unfortunately, come election time, it’s often a last-minute study session for the majority voters, who are bombarded by an array of attack ads and campaign tactics that simply muddy the waters and likely discourage voters from participating.

Is it any wonder voter turnout hit a record low in 2008?

A better approach is to pay attention in between elections, when the actual business of government takes place, in order to know where each party’s priorities lie.

If it must be a campaign cram session, it’s sage advice to ignore the political attack ads and campaign rhetoric and do some real research into the parties, the candidates, their records and their promises.

Good information is out there, if you can get past all the campaigning.

Can’t get your questions answered? Call the candidates themselves. If they truly want your vote, they better make time to listen to you and respond.

The bottom line is it’s up to each voter to determine how to vote and then cast a ballot. There’s no excuse for not doing either – it’s your country’s future at stake.