Or your big boy shorts, whatever you prefer.
On a regular basis, I hear from otherwise very smart people that they don’t vote. Why? Because they don’t care. They don’t know enough about politics. They don’t know who to vote for. Their vote doesn’t matter. They are disillusioned with what is happening in parliament, the legislature or their city or town council chambers.
Only in Canada, only in a free democracy, could you be allowed to come up with excuses for why you don’t want to do something your country asks you to do.
I will take an ignorant vote over no vote any day. Political parties and candidates have figured out that many of us don’t come to the election party. There are fewer of us they need to reach, or listen to, or care about. It’s become all about catering to a small group of converts.
It’s a funny thing, voting. If more people did it, politicians would see there are more people influencing the food chain. Simple logic, really. The more people involved, the more that can happen or change. A mob has a far greater impact than handful of people.
And by voting, you become just a little bit more engaged. You have a greater motivation to make sure the girl or guy you gave your ‘X’ to actually keeps their vows.
But if you still think that you don’t know enough or don’t care or that it won’t matter, all I will say is this:
You are an adult. You pay taxes. You drive on roads. You get sick. You’ve been forced to read a textbook or two. Maybe you have kids. You can walk to the store or through a park without fear of bullets or bombs. You work; grudgingly so sometimes, and have the chance to make a decent living (or actually have the government pay you if can’t find work…imagine). If you are reading this, you probably have a roof over your head and a choice of what you want to have for dinner tonight. You can give your opinion on anything, at anytime, at any place. You can surf the internet freely, buy any book or watch any movie. You have waves of national pride as you travel, watch hockey or laugh at Rick Mercer. And when something bad or tragic happens (ice storm, tornado, blizzard, fire, crime, earthquake), average people show up to help, support or save you, putting their life at risk at no cost to you.
So if you are all or any of these things, then you do have things worth voting for. Deep down, you do care. Your opinion does matter and your vote will count. Step up and be a proud Canadian on election day. Just vote. Even if you have to start with playing eenie-meenie-miny-moe, find your polling station and vote.
Vote. It isn’t a four-letter word.