Hope yet

For a campaign that began with such a whimper some five weeks ago, it seems the Canadian electorate is not dead after all.
Elections Canada reported yesterday that just over two million people cast ballots in the advance polls held Friday, Saturday, and Monday—an increase of more than a third compared to those who did prior to the 2008 election. Locally, the turnout was said to be “excellent,” well up from two-and-a-half years ago although exact figures were not available as of press time.
Equally encouraging, 78 percent of the 415 respondents to the Times’ weekly web poll indicated they planned to vote in the May 2 election, with eight percent still undecided. Just 14 percent said they would not be casting a ballot.
Quite the contrast from the start of the campaign, when persistent Conservative claims that this was an election nobody wanted fuelled fears of rampant voter apathy and a historically low turnout.
Well, maybe not.
It remains to be seen how it will all play out this coming Monday, of course, but it appears there’s hope yet that Canadians do care about the future of our country and the political process—and will take the time to have their say.
There’s suddenly a refreshing—and much-needed—enthusiasm surrounding the election, along with the realization of just how precious our right to vote is, particularly among young people who traditionally stay away from polling stations.
Every vote does count, and every voice deserves to be heard. Make sure yours is on May 2.