For those who are unaware, there was a federal election in Canada today. I try to keep my politics out of my daily life and especially off my blog. I love to discuss politics with open-minded people but at the end of the day, my politics are my politics and although I know that I'm always right, I'm not in the job of pushing them on anyone without them wanting my opinion. I do such a good job at keeping my politics to myself that after our last election, six different coworkers discussed the results with me and only one of them figured out what party I voted for. I attribute this to my need to be a political devil's advocate, even for the party I (usually) support. I do this because I want people to think about why they're voting the way they are.
There is, however, one point in politics that I feel so passionate about that I actually got into a facebook fight about it today: voting.
We live in a democracy. We get to vote for our Members of Parliament. They are usually members of a party (although we did recently have two Independents). We get to voice our opinion in who shapes the future of our country. This is an amazing and wonderful and fantastic right to have. We are so lucky that we have this right. The least we can do is take the time to educate ourselves and vote.
Voting is not just a right, in my opinion, it is also a responsibility. If we want to enjoy the democracy we live in, we have to keep it alive by following the democratic process. You have a choice to vote.
If you choose not to exercise that right because you don't believe in the democratic process, I will defend your right to make that choice. I really will.
If you choose not to vote because you feel there is no candidate or party that represents you, I will defend your right to make that choice.
But when you choose not to vote because you can't be assed to read up on the parties or candidates, I will tell you exactly what I think of you. And it won't be pretty.
We live in a day and age when information on every party is available online. Canadians average over 13 hours a week online. Do you honestly expect me to believe that somewhere in that 13+ hours, you couldn't take 15 minutes to read up about the platforms?
All across North Africa and the Middle East, people have risen up and risked death (and in many cases, have died) for the right to choose their government because that right had been taken away from them. And you can't get off of LOLcats to long enough to read about our options?
It's your right and it's your responsibility. So next time an election comes around, take 15 minutes out of your daily facebook trolling and read about your candidates then get out there and vote.