Make your mark

One of the longest campaigns in recent memory—and the first held in the dead of winter in 25 years—culminates this coming Monday when Canadians go to the polls to elect a new government.
Please be sure to make your mark.
Voter turnout has been dismal in the last few federal elections. H. Clifford Chadderton, chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations, notes it has dropped from 75 percent in 1993 to just 61 percent in June, 2004.
Here in Thunder Bay-Rainy River, voter turnout was even worse 18 months ago—a shameful 57 percent.
We certainly love to complain about our politicians and the decisions they make in Ottawa. Yet when the time comes to do something about it, far too many of us couldn’t be bothered.
That’s just plain wrong.
In fledgling democracies like Iraq and Afghanistan, voters braved the threat of suicide bombers and other violence to cast their ballots. Surely we can endure the odd snowflake, or temperature hovering around minus-10 C, to have a say in the future of our country.
Surely we can drag ourselves away from “The Price is Right,” “Oprah,” “The Young and the Restless,” or “24” out of respect to the thousands of lives sacrificed just so we enjoy the right to vote today.
You’ve heard and read what the candidates have to say—both locally and nationally—over the past seven-plus weeks. Now it’s time to make a choice.
It’s not just your right. It’s your duty.