Yesterday I went and carried out my civic duty by voting in the federal election.
Deciding who to vote for took some time - I have typically always voted one way, but did not like the party leader. I was not convinced that the party in power really should hold a majority. And to be blunt, no one was out there telling me WHY I should vote for them. No, instead of telling me what they would do for me, there was a lot of mud slinging and telling me what was wrong with their opponents.
I have to make it very clear that I am not a politico. I usually have a basic grasp of things, like to think I am making a somewhat educated decision, but I did not follow the campaign day by day (though I know a little too much about Sarah Palin just from the trash talking magazines at the grocery checkout). I admit that I fell asleep in the Stu's bed the night of the big debate. Oooops.
But I did try and think through my decision. And you know what? I don't think there was really much need for an election. Apparently other Canadians didn't either as Harper is returning to office with a minority again.
In the end I decided to vote locally. As in look at the candidates in our riding and figure out who I thought would best represent our interests. We had three strong candidates in this riding - even the Green Party candidate had some great credentials behind him (I was impressed that he founded monthly dinners between Jews and Arabs a few years ago to try and forge a trail for peace in their countries).
And so off I went yesterday to my polling station to vote. There were 6 candidates on the ballot. Six. I really need to figure exactly what a Libertarian advocates. Apparently ours is "the Rad Man" because he repairs radiators. Hmmmm.
I am not impressed with this election. I don't see why it was necessary. I realize I am probably not sophisticated enough to get why Harper, only 2 years into a term decided that he wanted a majority. Really - I think he could have tried to prove himself a little longer. I understand that he could get more done (jury is out on if that is a good thing) with a majority. In a world where things can turn on a dime (the economy Mr Harper!) I think that the money spent on the election could have been put to much better use.
Imagine what it could have done for our failing medical system - imagine that much money going towards Canadians health.
But I voted because I think you have to vote. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we get a vote, and that vote is ours to cast without strings attached, you can post signs on your lawn showing your support for a candidate without fearing repercussions. The man who rented out our house is from Saudi Arabia and he could not get over a candidate coming into mosque (not interrupting religious proceedings) to ASK for his vote. In his country you have a vote - but you are told who to vote for or it brings unrest to your region.
We take a lot for granted with this freedom of ours. But I don't think we should celebrate it by calling elections that aren't needed Mr. Harper.
Now go play nicely with the Opposition please and see what you can do about our greenhouse emissions or the healthcare issue.