My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

The privilege of voting

on October 28, 2014

Yesterday was Election Day here in Ontario.

Although I’ve lived here for 16 years, I only became a Canadian citizen 2 years ago.  This would be the first Mayoral election I would get to vote in.  I was super excited.

When I turned 18 and could vote in the United States, I practically ran to get registered.  I knew it was a privilege to cast my vote.  I also knew that it was my right.  And I exercised that right in every election.

When I moved to Canada, I knew I couldn’t vote here, but I didn’t know I could still vote in the US.  I was a little disappointed I couldn’t.  When I found that I still could, I felt that excitement again.

Then I made decision to become a Canadian citizen.  The process was long, but it finally happened in November 2012.  (Actually, I’m now a dual citizen.)   I could hardly wait for the next election so I could vote.

We had a provincial election not too long ago, and I voted.  But I was really waiting for the local election so I could vote for our Mayor and Councillors.  And finally that day arrived.

In the town where I live, 7 people were running for Mayor; and 22 people were running for 6 Councillor positions.

I read all I could about the Mayoral candidates.  I wanted to make sure I voted for someone who would do great work for our city.  I wanted someone who would be passionate and word hard.  I was confident who I chose to vote for.

Admittedly, I didn’t do as much research on those running for City Council.  I knew a few of them, by reputation, because they were running again.  I should have read up a bit more.  I’ll do better next time.

Looking at my Facebook feed during the day, I was thrilled to see friends excited about the election and their plans to go vote.

My amazing friend Liz wrote this:

“It’s election day!

Right and privilege. Right and privilege.

A young man offered his life for both. Don’t let him down.”

So wonderfully said.

Later, Liz posted that she had voted.  One of her friends commented that she thought it was pointless to vote because she didn’t know anything about who was running.

I hate comments like that.  I commented back that voting is NEVER pointless.

Many times over the years I’ve heard people complain about those in office.  Yet many of those same people didn’t bother voting!  To them I say if you won’t exercise your right to vote, you have no right to complain about who gets elected.

I’ve lived in 2 of the greatest countries in the world.  And in both we have been given the right and privilege to elect those who run our countries, our provinces and states, and our cities & towns.  So why don’t more people vote?  It boggles my mind.  I just don’t understand it.

Looking at the numbers this morning, my town had less than 50% voter turnout.  I just don’t understand it.  Some cities and towns had really good voter turnout.  I’m not sure why we didn’t.

The man we elected as our new Mayor won by 161 votes.  A good example of how every vote counts.

Hopefully those we elected as Mayor and Councillors yesterday will do a good job.

And if they don’t, hopefully next time we will elect people who will.

It is our right and privilege to vote in every election.

Men and women serve in our armed forces to guarantee us that.

Something we always need to remember.


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