With the upcoming Federal election on September 20, 2021, immediately followed by the Municipal election in Calgary on October 18, 2021, some of you might be questioning whether you should get out and vote. The simple answer: YES!
Voter turnout continues to be a topic of interest and has become a cause of concern in recent years, as statistics from Elections Canada indicates that (as with many other industrialized countries) turnout has been declining in Canada.
Every Canadian has the right to vote!
According to Matthew McRae of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights “The history of the right to vote in Canada is a messy story. Over hundreds of years, countless individuals have fought to improve our democracy and to have voting recognized as a fundamental right. The next time you have the chance to cast your ballot in an election, take a moment to think of all the people who stood up and demanded the right to vote. In the present, Canadians are still talking about how to make voting as fair, accessible and democratic as possible.”
(For more information on the history of voting in Canada, read Matthew McRae’s full article The chaotic story of the right to vote in Canada)
Different Parties have different ideas!
Different political parties and candidates have different ideas and preferences about what is important. Voting is an easy way for you to express your ideas and preferences by voting for the party or candidate that best represents your own ideas and preferences, and what is important to you!
Unsure of what party you align with?
Check out the CBC Vote Compass, an award-winning tool developed by political scientists to explore how your views align with those of the parties, and how they would vote on certain issues.
Participating in elections also honours all the people who came before you and had the courage to stand up and demanded the right to vote!
If you’re still on the fence, here are FIVE reasons why you should make the effort to vote:
- The results affect you, as a Board member of a community association, a non-profit, as a volunteer, or just as an individual in the community — even one government policy, law, regulation, or change can impact you directly!
- Elections can have consequences on your quality of life: health care, environment, funding, jobs, etc.
- Not everyone can vote, so take this responsibility seriously! It’s your right and people fought for that right!
- Diversity matters – different voices, experiences and backgrounds help shape our country and your vote can be a deciding factor – every vote is counted!
- It’s easy and it really doesn’t take much time! Your polling station is probably just around the corner!
Your vote is your voice: USE IT!