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Ontario Votes 2018: Why You Need To Vote

Updated on May 28, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Ontario Votes On June 7: You Need To Be There


Vote! No Endorsements, Just An Opinion

I'm often rather bored by politics, as it's very frequently the same thing daily. One party does not like what the other is doing - or in the case of Canada, what the others are doing (we have 3 or as many as 5 predominant political parties here, depending on where you live in the country) - and it turns into a bunch of people denigrating each other just because they've had a disagreement.

There's no polite discourse, and there's not much rational argument of ideals. There's a whole lot of commentary taken from the perspectives of different organizations, whether they be news oriented or not, and much of it is taken pretty much as gospel, regardless of how strongly biased it may or may not be. Then comes the mudslinging from all sides, and it turns into a teacher's worst nightmare at recess.

So while I tend to follow politics from a very long arm's length, the whole of it does not interest me to the degree it does some others, and that's fine.

However, I still plan on exercising my right to vote on June 7, 2018, when Ontario - the province I live in - goes to the polls.

I remember just as I was turning 18, my mother and I were having a very rare discussion about politics. Either Canada was going to the polls to elect a new prime minister or Alberta, where I lived at the time, was getting ready to elect a new premier. At any rate, while I'm not 100 percent sure about the content of our conversation, I distinctly remember her telling me, "Chris, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to b--ch."

While her words made me giggle at the time, in reality, there's a lot of truth in what she said. There's still a majority of individuals, whether we live in Canada or the United States, who simply won't take the time to exercise their right to vote. Make no mistake - it is a right, and it's one denied to a lot of people in many other countries, particularly women.

It drives me crazy when people will complain about politicians and yet, when you ask them if they voted, they'll look at me as though I had a toaster for a head and tell me that their vote wouldn't have made a difference because "they" had already decided so-and-so would be the next leader. When I'm talking about "they," I'm talking about the person or people referred to when we say something like, "You know what they say..."

I still have yet to figure out exactly who this group that represents "they" is. However, because of this decision that people have somehow made that their vote makes little to no difference, we are struggling to get at least half of the country (or the province, as the case may be) to get out to the polls, and that's appalling.

It takes a half hour minimum out of your day to look at the websites of the major parties that you're presented with and at the very least skim over what each party is proposing. While it would be ideal to take longer than that, as some of the issues that each party stands for might seem somewhat murky to us, a half hour is not a bad length of time at the start just to get a general idea of what the parties want to do if elected. Then, think about what you've read. Make a decision based on each political platform that you've read about as to which party you should vote for.

Sure, some of the candidates themselves might seem somewhat sketchy to you, but ultimately, it's got to be the party and not the candidate him or herself that you're casting your vote for.

Not voting is tacit acceptance of the status quo, and sometimes, the status quo is not so comfortable for a lot of people. You might be one of those people affected by something a current party is doing, and you might not like it. Deciding, however, that you're stuck and your voice makes no difference is the biggest way to ensure that nothing changes at all.

If you think something in government should change, vote.

If you think everything is okay in government and nothing or very little should change, vote.

For your sake, and for all of those who may never have the right to vote, get out there to the polls and vote.

It's a powerful right, and you owe it to yourself to exercise it.


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