Vote!

22Feb08

Amidst all the media hullabaloo about the US presidential primaries, I’ve seen very little discussion of another important vote coming up in Canada.

On March 17th, four federal ridings will be holding by-elections. Four out of the 308 seats in the House of Commons may not seem like a lot, but when you consider how small of a minority the Conservatives currently have, and the number of confidence votes upcoming, those 4 seats have the potential to make a big impact.

My riding, Vancouver Quadra, is one of the four set to vote in March. Our by-election comes after many years of Stephen Owen as our MP – he’s left politics to work for UBC. I voted for him in the last election, quite happily and easily.

Now, I’m not so sure who I want to vote for. I didn’t vote for Owen because he was Liberal – I voted for him because he was my favourite of the candidates, the one who I thought matched my values the closest and would be the most successful, accurate representative of our community.

I’m not very impressed with the Liberal candidate, whose track record as an MLA (provincial politician) doesn’t really jive with her professed values and morals. The Green candidate is, well, green – he’s very young and most of his experience is in university-level politics (he was on the student council at my uni when I was in first year) or in private technology. The Conservative candidate … well I’m not even considering them, because I think Stephen Harper is a soulless robot, and I can’t wait til the Conservatives are out of power. 😀 So that leaves the NDP candidate, who is also fairly young, but seems to be more inline with my own values than the other candidates.

In the past I’ve gone for experience and morals, but this year it seems I get one or the other. Which matters to me more? Which issues am I willing or not willing to bend on? What kind of voice do I want speaking for me and my community in Ottawa?

It’s not easy, and I know I’ll spend a lot of time reading up on issues and researching the candidates. It won’t be fascinating, and it will take time.  But it will be SO worth it, to put in that time and cast my ballot.

So if you live in Vancouver Quadra (BC), Toronto Centre (ON), Willowdale (ON), or Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River (SK)- please make sure you are registered to vote, and then go cast your ballot. Participate in choosing someone to represent and speak for your community and its needs and wants. Take a stance, and have your say.

If that’s not good enough motivation for you, remember that you only get to bitch about the politicians in power if you voted. Not voting means that you have chosen not to voice your opinion, and that doesn’t change after the ballots are counted!

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One Response to “Vote!”

  1. 1 twofifteenandgo

    Not being Canadian, I never could vote when I lived in Canada for obvious reasons. I always thought that if I did, I would vote NDP. I generally agree with the party’s principles, and I met Jack Layton once upon a time and he struck me as a really honest, diligent person. At the time I left Canada it started to look to me like the NDP had a shot at being an actual contender in the elections, as opposed to a kind of a sideshow for college kids and ageing, idealistic boomers. I had friends who were Green devotees, but voting Green feels about as effective as voting for the independent party here in the U.S. I don’t know anything about the current state of the Liberal party, and I pretty much agree with the soulless Stephen Harper comment, so that’s the end of my opinions on Canadian politics… I hope your search for a candidate goes well, I recently spent a distraught day or two in the same situation when my state’s primaries came up earlier this month. Good luck, and good for you choosing to make an informed decision! 🙂


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