Ask around and many Canadians will tell you that they don’t vote. The reasons are numerous, ranging from the all too common “It doesn’t matter who gets in, they are all lying crooks” to the runner up “I don’t vote because my vote doesn’t matter anyway. They just do what they want.”

While those two excuses come out in front, there are a myriad of reasons why Canadians just don’t vote, and in this man’s opinion, there are no good ones. There is an old saying that says “The only thing evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

During the last election, less than 25% of our eligible youth turned out to vote. They feel that it is useless and doesn’t matter. Let’s see if that is true. Some of the issues that your vote will decide are the following:

Health care:
I am pretty sure that this affects you or someone that you love dearly, like an aging parent or grandparent.
This issue is (re)shaping the country as we know it.
How much of your money is the government going to keep from your next paycheque?
Will your country be able to counter a viable external threat?
Which party takes it seriously?
Which party wants to give you the most choices, no matter what the issue?
Foreign Policy:
Which party stands for what you believe? Should we have closer ties with the US, or not?
Foreign Aid:
How much is enough?
More government or Less government:
Do you want to be governed or ruled?
Do you want criminals running the country or people with ethics and character?
Law & Order, Justice:
Do we need tougher sentencing? Which party has a history of dealing with this issue?

As well, a great deal of our courts decisions have profound lasting effects on our country and our culture. Voting in a particular party and their beliefs also reflects on our Supreme Court, as those judges are appointed.

Each of the present political parties, whether federal or regional, has its own website. You owe it to yourself, your country, and your children, to know what each of them stand for, and where they want to take us. If you read carefully, you will pick out what they truly believe in. Ask friends or family to explain the parties to you if that would help.

Coming up with some lame excuse as to why you don’t vote is shameful, to say the least. It takes no time to do, there are no bombings at our polling stations, and it is your civic responsibility. In fact, it is the only sure way to guarantee an upright government, and it will also give you the privilege of complaining for the next four years. If you don’t vote, don’t whine about the way things are, because it is partly your fault.

When voting time comes around next year, presumably anyway, do yourself a favor and educate yourself. Don’t listen to the polls, as the point isn’t to vote for the guy in front, and polls are skewed to appear the way a few want them to. Vote for the issues and for your local candidate that has the same core values. Take the time to find out who they are and what they stand for.

Forget the hype and the spin in the papers. Look at the facts and throw out the biases that you will no doubt see. You may find that the media has been lying to you, but you are smart enough to see through it.

See you at the ballot box.

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