Not voting? Please take a minute to read this.
I know you have plenty of reasons for choosing not to vote. You can’t find the time, you don’t know who to vote for, you think they’re all equally awful, you don’t believe your vote will actually make a difference, and/or the campaign issues do not match issues close to your heart, etc.
I’ll admit these have all crossed my mind at one time or another, but I very much respect my right to vote. We all know the sacrifices our ancestors have made to provide us this right and the lives that are being lost at this very moment in other parts of the world to protect democracy.
But I want to give you another reason to vote. Have you watched Rick Mercer’s voting rant from a couple weeks ago (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhgYhcTl95w)? Please do. The message here is specific to 18 to 25 year olds, but I think it easily applies to every voter demographic. It really comes down to basic marketing. A company does market research to determine who is buying its product, and then spends the bulk of its marketing energy and funds on attracting that demographic. The same applies to political parties and voters. Parties build their campaigns in order to target the demographics who vote.
What are some issues that are important to you? I’m guessing many of you are concerned about things like cost of child care, long-term health of the CPP, economy/jobs, and sustainability. The more people in your demographic who vote, the more attention political parties will pay to your demographic’s issues in the future. As cliche as it sounds, your one vote truly can make a difference.
If you are thinking about voting but don’t know which party to vote for, CBC has a fabulous tool that can help you. It’s called the Vote Compass (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/votecompass/). It doesn’t take long - just answer a few questions, and you’ll find out which party and which leader are the closest match to your issues and concerns.
Thank you for reading this far. Feel free to share. I really feel strongly that it’s time for all of us to be heard.