I’ve voted consistently in elections – federal, provincial, municipal. We are so lucky that we have the opportunity. People in some countries don’t get the chance.
In Canada there have been various restrictions on voting in the past, e.g. only property owners could vote if they were male and British, conscientious objectors couldn’t vote at times, women and Indigenous people were denied the vote. For a more detailed history of voting in Canada, check out: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/franchise
Whether you are frustrated with political parties in general, or leaders, or the process, we are still fortunate to have the opportunity to have voices in choosing our government. So vote because the alternative is dictatorship!
Some choose to vote strategically in terms of which parties they think might get in. But if you never vote for the party whose policies you wholeheartedly or mostly support, and if everyone thinks like that, then how will we ever get real change?
I usually make up my mind early on, based on the record of various parties, and the policies they have supported over a period of years. I do factor in the leader and whether I support him or her, but it’s not my first criteria. And whether I like the candidate in my riding comes much further down the line. And I mostly ignore the debates and the posturing of election campaigns.
At times I even vote for a party that I know has a snowball’s chance in hell of forming the government (unless hell is a frozen wasteland rather than a hot fiery furnace), because I do support their policies and I think they need to know that there are people who support them.
I’d like to see electoral reform (e.g. proportional representation), though I’m not holding my breath on that one. For more on various electoral systems see this 2016 article in Macleans:
I’m happy to hear that there was at least a 29% increase in voter numbers at advance polls this year for the federal election from 2015. I hope the increase in number carries through into election day.
Monday, October 21 – Vote!! (If you haven’t already done so.)