It’s easy to be cynical about the democratic system as there are plenty of examples of politicians more focused on their own interests than those of their constituents, or bureaucracy run wild.
As a result, voter turnout at all levels of government has plummeted over the years.
However, apathy and cynicism need to be fought and the best time to do that is Monday during the federal election.
First of all, there are people around the world who either can’t vote because of oppressive regimes or they are putting their lives on the line to make a difference. We are extremely fortunate to have a voice in a safe, non-intimidating environment.
Second, not all politicians are self-serving. Most are well meaning and do have the interests of their constituents at heart. Via e-mail, a phone call or face-to-face, you can let them know exactly how you feel about an issue. They may ultimately go in a direction you don’t support, but keep in mind that they have to consider the views of more than just you. And the great thing about a democracy is you can continue to speak out and keep their feet to the fire.
And thirdly, keep in mind that opinion polls, if they are to be believed, show a tight-two way race for government nationally and a three-way race in many ridings. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, your vote could make the difference.
Standing in line to vote Monday could take some time, but how long do you wait in line for a coffee or spend on Facebook?
The bottom line is that voting is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your country.