Today is our provincial election. It feels like I'm always going to the polls. As I've been moderately been following the lead-up today I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I SHOULD vote. Besides voting for my mayor I think this election affects me most. Being a teacher, the provincial government influences my profession quite a bit. So I've done what I can in the time that I have to try and get informed. Education is my main issue and quite honestly I'm fairly neutral about most others. Our union sent an email with a grid of where the parties stand on issues pertaining to education. I found that they pretty much said the same things. I watched the debate (before my PVR cut it off) and found they all say a lot, but I don't necessarily believe they are going to do anything they say. I tried to get informed in other ways but quite honestly, I had no clear convictions about who to check off on the ballot. I've made a decision but I consider it my "best guess."
I'm married to someone who doesn't vote. He honestly doesn't care. You hear a lot that if you don't vote you have no right to complain and I agree with this. Not once in our 8 years together have I heard him complain about any of that stuff. Someone came to our door recently representing a party and when he told them he wasn't planning to vote the man was appalled. He said he had to do it for our children and his children. I thought that was a bit dramatic. So is it okay not to vote? If you really don't care and are happy to let the people that do, decide? I've come to the conclusion that it is okay. I often hear that voting is a privilege and it's true. But if we don't feel convicted about something I think it's okay not to take advantage of the privilege. We don't live in country run by dictators whose position of power could literally mean life or death for thousands. I think those situations are different. I absolutely believe that everyone should have the right to vote and we should work towards making that happen just like I believe everyone has the right to clean water. But someone without clean water would probably much rather I work towards helping them get some, than drinking water myself just because I can.
I want to have a say in what happens so I vote. I plan to teach my boys about it and keep them informed but ultimately the decision is theirs. That's part of living in a country with freedom. I'm sure not everyone agrees and would love to hear your thoughts.