AT RANDOM: Where is this leading?

And so, as life is fleeting, and democracy is still alive here, I will vote.

Life has a funny way of lifting you to great heights, and just when you think you’ve reached the pinnacle of euphoria, it sends you a sucker punch to the gut to take you down a few notches.

That’s reality.

Not to be a downer, but I would have loved to written here in this space – it is my turn for random ramblings, after all – about the wonderful holiday I just returned from on the Oregon Coast.

Despite the detours to avoid smoky Washington, and the long journey home via Idaho, it was a beautiful journey to remind oneself that America is still beautiful, despite Donald Trump and no gun control.

But alas, the brakes on that high soon slammed with images from the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe.

Seeing a drowned three-year-old  boy washed up on a Turkish beach brought everything back to Earth.

Life is fleeting and most of us in Canada take way too much for granted.

We are lucky to have the freedom to be able to go on holidays, own a passport, and to elect a leader of our nation.

Yes, this is leading somewhere.

I had the opportunity to hear one of the candidates for prime minister speak this week.

And although I liked, for the most part, what federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair had to say about what he plans to do for the First Nations, workers rights, and the environment, the cynical side of me felt that a lot of it was rhetoric.

Yes, I’ve heard it all before…. I want to see action!

When asked by my colleague about what Mulcair planned to do about the Tory stronghold here in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, Mulcair fired back with a rhetorical answer, saying, “Across B.C., people know one thing and that is the party that defeats the Conservatives is the NDP.”

I’ve heard that before too… from the Liberals.

What can I say, having covered political campaigns for more than two decades has left me a little jaded – not only with the politicians, but with the fact that we as Canadians don’t feel our votes count.

I’ve heard people say “the party we want out will always win,” or “my vote doesn’t matter.”

Some are just plain apathetic and too lazy to get to the polling stations.

I bet those people fleeing from war-torn Syria would give anything to be able to vote, or live in a democratic country such as ours, free from persecution, starvation and death.

On another ironic note, it has been proven that new citizens to a country are the most likely to vote. They take pride in being able to take part in the democratic process and have a say in who will lead them into the future of their new home.

I expect there will be an online response to what I am saying here, and that is your democratic right, but I’m really not happy about the direction my country has been taking lately.

I, and many other Canadians, don’t like being in a recession, again.

I don’t like government salesmen, ahem certain senators, apparently using our money for fancy dinners and hotel rooms, and hiding behind a blue curtain when they get caught.

I don’t like scientists, or journalists, not being able to do their jobs freely.

I don’t like pollution and our country being on a low rank for environmental ratings.

I don’t like the search for answers about  hundreds of missing aboriginal women being ignored.

And so, as life is fleeting, and democracy is still alive here, I will vote.

I want to come home to a better country.