This is the last part in this discussion on how I see the Canadian political scene. I would like to sum it up by trying to convince you, the reader, and a fellow Canadian, that your vote does matter. Who you vote for is none of my business, but I cannot impress upon you enough the importance of contributing to your country in the form of casting a vote.

We have seen that every vote does count. There is absolutely no doubt about it.

As Canadians we owe it to ourselves and to the next generation of Canadians that is just starting out to become informed and to be ready and willing to make an informed choice at the ballot box. This is the only way to ensure the continuation of our nation, and to ensure that the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today will be passed along by us to our children.

We cannot sit placidly on our backsides while we consume the scripted newscasts that come over the television airwaves. The news is not a reliable source for unfiltered information, but is merely a starting point. We must take what we are told and measure it to see if it is truth or spin.

I have heard innuendos and speculation in regards to all of the current leadership contenders in our present national election campaign. I can choose to simply believe what I am told, or I can do a little fact finding and background checking to corroborate the information. It is a little tedious at times I admit, but I feel that if I have been given the right to vote, I have an obligation to exert a little effort to make a wise decision based on knowledge and historical fact.

Many of the people that I talk to often say that all politicians are the same, at least once they get into office. I say that is simply not true, no more than any other generalization is. To allow ourselves to become complacent and apathetic enough to simply discard our privilege to vote and our civic and moral obligation to do so, we cheat ourselves and worse, we become part of the reason that many politicians do fall into the same category.

If somebody with a moral deficit is profiting off of an illegal or unethical act, for us to sit by and do nothing about it makes us just as guilty as the person committing the act. To allow our politicians to act in an unbecoming and disgraceful manner and then not exercise our right to remove them from office makes us complicit in the very things that we complain are happening in our political system.

For us to look at our politicians and be completely dissatisfied as so many have told me that they are, then they have some work to do. To change a political party and what they stand for, people must get involved. Membership in most parties starts at around $10 a year, and gets you in the door. It allows you to cast a vote for the next leader of that party. If you think that “they are all the same”, then do something about it. Become a member of a party that espouses some of the values that you hold dear and get to know the people who hope to lead it.

Start educating yourself and your children about the issues that are important to you. Don’t simply believe what you have been told. Do some homework.

It is only through public participation that our nation can remain free and great. It is only through the effort that Canadians are willing to make that our political system can be anything other than corrupt. If good people become involved and become part of the political process, then their influence will have a positive effect. If we allow only “those who know someone” to grasp the power in our country and continue to elect “professional politicians” to rule our land, then we give up our freedom and our right to complain about the corruption in government.

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