Maybe the time was right for an election, maybe it wasn’t. But it’s always a good time for more democracy, which happens as long as we exercise our right to vote on Sept. 20.
The federal election will be held that day, and by the next print issue of the Nanaimo News Bulletin, we’ll know Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s next MP and we’ll know the make-up of Canada’s next Parliament.
A lot will happen between now and then. There will be some final strides and stumbles by parties and their leaders and there are sure to be some surprises on the campaign trail. Millions of eligible voters across 338 ridings will cast their ballots and then it will culminate with the counting.
A first-past-the-post voting system arguably doesn’t make the best use of every ballot, but every vote still matters. It matters to have the right to vote and to exercise it. It matters to cast an informed vote that communicates a choice to parties and politicians who should pay attention to the messages we send at the ballot box. And it matters mathematically, especially in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a riding that a few different candidates from a few different parties have a realistic chance of winning.
What happens in this part of Vancouver Island could conceivably make a difference on a national scale, depending the seat count when all is said and done. The way it all shakes down will be important. Politicians sometimes sound alike, but it only takes a little bit of research and thought to see how the different party platforms and priorities start to shape Canada’s short- and long-term future, even at the Nanaimo-Ladysmith regional level, in our neighbourhoods and in our households.
We can make small differences in our community and in the world every day. We can make more of a difference when we’re part of something. Our votes, counted just the same as others, can add up in a hurry on election day and that’s one way to make the kind of change we want.
Voting is fast and easy – visit www.elections.ca for the particulars – and it’s worthwhile. There’s someone or something to like on the ballot if we take the time to look and if we take this opportunity to care about our country.