This is not meant to divide the Conservative or the Liberal.
This is not about Republicans or Democrats.
This is a post about social action and civic responsibility.
Do you vote?
And if the answer to that question is no, then why the hell not?
Are you too busy? Too tired? Too angry? Too apathetic?
Do you live too far away from your poll? Are you physically unable?
Seriously? What is your excuse?
In the last Ontario election, only 58% of eligible voters cast their ballots. This is the election that gave us Doug Ford. In the last presidential election, more than 100,000,000 eligible voters didn't vote. This is the Trump election. The numbers astound me.
Older citizens vote. They vote in huge numbers. Young people...well they stay home and let their grandparents' votes govern the communities in which they live and the issues they live by.
University students. I am speaking to you, now. Would you let your grandparents pick your clothes? Your music? Your partner?
So why are you allowing them to make decisions on the issues you say are the most important to you?
The environment. A woman's right to govern her own sexual agency. Gun control. Equal pay. Worker's rights. Net neutrality. Healthcare.
This should terrify you all. (Start at about the two-minute mark.)
Parents, I'm talking to you now. Have you talked to your children about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, or unprotected sex? Have you lectured them about driving while under the influence? Have you taught them to have respect for others and to treat people the way they themselves would expect to be treated? Have you raised them to make informed choices?
Have you ever discussed with them the power and importance of voting? Have you taken them with you to the polls? Have you modeled voting behaviour by voting yourselves?
I am constantly amazed at the number of people I know personally who don't believe that voting is a collective responsibility. It isn't merely that voting determines how we live our lives in our communities and how we protect the most vulnerable among us but that it sets the course to what kind of world we want to live in and what we will leave to the next generations. Are we willing to accept government by an invigorated minority or would we rather be on the right side of history?
Toronto residents, there is no doubt that our upcoming election is a mess. We still don't know who all the candidates in our ridings are, let alone where our polling places are located. There have been no voters cards mailed out because of the turmoil. But that is not an excuse to stay home on October 22nd or to not vote in the advance polls. Check out https://myvote.toronto.ca/home or https://www.thestar.com/toronto-election.html for all the information you need to vote with intention. You do *not* have to be registered to vote like in the U.S. to cast a ballot in the city election. All you need is to be eligible to vote and have ID with your address. Also from the city:
American friends, I have heard from many in the know that this November's midterms are possibly the most important since the Civil War. That is a stunning indictment on everything you all have been living through for the past two years. The world is watching. Get out and vote and then drive ten more friends and neighbours to the polls. Pick people up. Ensure your college kids are registered and that they are hounded and nagged by you until they cast their ballots. Go to seniors residences and take them to vote. Set up carpools through your church and synagogue groups. Stand in line and know your rights and what identification you need. Plan it and do it no matter what.
It isn't hyperbole to say that people have died to protect our right to vote in a democracy. We can argue about the candidates and we can argue about the platforms but we should NEVER use any excuse to keep us from exercising our franchise.