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GUEST COLUMN: On your mark, get set … vote

Published on

Mel Smith

Let the games begin!

A new election is upon us and I’m a voting Canadian. I’m also of the clan MacDonald living in the land of Alexander Mackenzie.

Sir John A. and the other Fathers of Confederation created a system to govern Canada. It isn’t perfect but it was designed to represent the people. It evolves and grows with the needs of our culture and society. It’s for the people and run by the people.

Is that currently the case? Everyone has an opinion, a right that is constitutional entrenched and the reason why ALL Canadians should vote.

Apathy has led to poor voter turnout, and so small numbers of voters are choosing representatives for the whole. Apathetic voters may give up because they feel like it doesn’t matter, or the elite prevent the majority from being heard, or integrity has left Canadian politics.

If I were a Canadian working abroad I would want the right to vote for what kind of country I call home. After all, I am a representative of my country.

Serving as an elected representative is an honour and an act of patriotism. Those elected are entrusted with the best interests of the people, which is an expectation every elected official should keep in mind.

The race has begun, the Governor General said “Go.” and now they’re off. The MPs who are elected will be challenged and the losers will maintain the offensive and train vigorously for the next election.

And what of the current voter mood? Some are angry. Some are leery. They are taxed and overworked. And now they’re being asked to participate.

Canadians are paying for much of this election and they didn’t ask for the race to begin this early. But here we are, another campaign and another election.

Some voters will support one of the three main parties out of tradition, and some will vote with their conscience. But it’s important that you speak up and cast a ballot.

Every vote is equal, one vote, one voice, one opinion. Money can influence and integrity will be tested, but now is not the time to sit silently and watch the Game of Power on TV.

Politics isn’t a spectator sport. Every Canadian should exercise their fundamental right as a citizen and contribute to the greatness of Our Canada.

Mel Smith is a Sarnia resident currently studying a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Communication

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