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October 21: Why You Should Step Up and Cast Your Vote

October 19th, 2019 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, will you be one of the abstainers in the Canadian federal election next Monday?

I took advantage of the advance polls last weekend to vote, as did 4.7 million electors. But there are many who will leave their ballots blank. Voter turnout in the 2015 Canadian federal election was 68.5%. The good news is that this was the highest turnout since 1993. The bad news is that this means nearly one-third of all eligible voters did not cast a vote.

If you are considering taking a pass on October 21st, allow me to put forward a few reasons to reconsider that decision.

If you do not vote, you unofficially lose the right to complain about the performance of the leader of the party forming the government. You do not get to complain if you did not take part in the process. What will you talk about around the water cooler at work for the next four years?

If more people have voted in the last Ontario provincial election (42% opted out), perhaps we would not be saddled with four years of Doug “Slash and Burn” Ford and his personal crusade to reinvent the province in his own distorted vision. (Apologies if you are a Doug Ford fan. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that point.)

It may seem that your one vote does not matter in the final analysis. But apathy is contagious. If you do not vote, arguably we all lose.

If more people have voted in the last U.S. election (45% opted out), perhaps our newsfeeds would not be clogged with the latest antics, tirades and misquotes of Donald Trump. (Apologies if you are a Donald Trump fan. We’ll have to strenuously agree to disagree on that point.)

You have endured two months of mudslinging, backstabbing and below-the-belt insults between the party leaders – not to mention the inflammatory television and radio ads. Monday is your chance to show how much class you have by putting aside your disenchantment and placing an informed vote.

All of the above are valid reasons for showing up at the polls on Monday. But the most compelling reason is one that no one, in all good faith, can dispute.

Not so very long ago, courageous men fought – and countless numbers gave their lives – on bloodstained battlefields overseas to protect the freedom you enjoy. You owe them your gratitude. Exercising your right to vote is how you show it.

So I ask you to not throw in the towel on Monday. You have a right and a duty to participate in the process – and it is in your best interest to do so. Abstaining serves no purpose.

Step up and have your say. Mark your X on the ballot.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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