Not Voting is Not a Good Look
"My vote won’t make a difference,” you may be thinking. Or, “I don’t like any of the candidates.” You’re not the only one experiencing mental and emotional exhaustion from an election nearly two-thirds of Canadians didn’t want (via Toronto Star). In fact, like many of your fellow citizens, you can probably think of many reasons why this isn’t a great time to head to the polls: you have more pressing issues in your day-to-day life, we had an election just two years ago, and--oh yeah--we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. But, the reality is this: on September 20th we head the polls and it’s your duty to educate yourself and prepare to vote.
First, make a list of issues that matter to you. If you’re a parent paying up to $11,000 per year in childcare costs (or more, depending on your location), you may be interested in voting for the party that will ease this particular financial burden (via Global News). Or, if you’re concerned about healthcare access, pay attention to what parties have to say about increasing spending on hospitals and in particular ICUs.
Second, contact your local candidates (or visit their websites) for more information. Many people want to elect a particular leader and vote for the party which backs that individual. But the reality is your local candidates, if elected, will have a far greater impact on your riding, because they bring your issues and concerns to the legislature. The party leader ultimately wields the greatest power, but your MP is your point of contact.
Finally, make a plan to vote. In Canada, employers are legally required to give employees three consecutive hours to vote--without a decrease in pay (via CBC). If you work on election day and plan on voting in person during regular working hours, communicate this in advance to your employer. Take note of your local polling station and plan your route by foot, bicycle, public transit, or car. Make sure to bring your voter registration card and up to two pieces of identification (or someone to vouch for you). And visit Elections Canada to familiarize yourself with the entire process.
Your vote makes a difference--because each vote makes a difference. On September 20th, bring your A-game and do your part to steer this country in the direction you think is right. Exercise one of our most cherished rights: the right to shape the future.