Tomorrow is a significant day for Canadians. It’s election day. This election has been geared towards the youth vote – 18-25 year olds. They historically don’t vote, and their votes matter. Even though I don’t fit into that category any more, being almost 30, I am on the fence if I should go and vote.
When I was 18, it wasn’t an election year. My friends staged a fake election so that I could vote on my birthday. It’s been 10 years since then and my passion for politics is waning with each passing year. When I was 18, I was just about to start university as a political science major. I loved politics and I loved voting.
As the years go on, I find myself less and less interested in politics as life pulls the focus away from it. Now I am interested in teaching things, and the whole world of teaching. However, with the current strike and the strike two years ago, I am finding my “teacher self” hating the world of politics. Voting in the federal election won’t make a change in education since it’s a provincial issue. And as a teacher, it feels like my vote is already decided for me by the union.
This year, it’s a weird race. We have first time runners for at least two of the 3 main parties. Of course there is our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who is conservative and who is making a huge mess of government. In his first term he prorogued government multiple times! Which means, he dismissed it, paused it, put it on hold. The speculation behind that was, he was up against a vote of non-confidence and he didn’t want to see the outcome so he bought himself more time to dig himself out of whatever hole he had fallen into.
Next, Liberals. I can’t remember who the liberal candidate was 4 years ago, but I don’t think it was Justin Trudeau. His father was Prime Minister so he already has sort of a name for himself. The country has known him since he was a boy and that gives him a slight edge – plus his father was a bit of a celebrity in terms of Prime Ministers. But he doesn’t really have a lot of experience.
NDP’s have a new runner. The last election, their leader passed away a few months before the vote. His wife took up his slot but didn’t win.
The Green party and the Bloc both have the same candidate.
Here is my problem: I am a socialist at heart. NDP all the way! At least when Jack Layton was their candidate for Prime Minister. He was probably the best candidate I have ever seen running in Canadian elections for the short little while that I have been able to vote. I support their policies and the way in which they represent themselves.
When I don’t vote NDP, I usually default to Conservatives just based on how they reflect my own personal and religious values. However, Harper has killed all faith that I have in his party. With the amount of drama that has surrounded his office in the last 8 years, I just can’t vote for him anymore. The sad thing is, the Conservative candidate in my riding is amazing. He does great work and will most likely be re-elected. So do I vote for the party or for the MP? It’s a decision that I struggle with every four years. While living in Kitchener, I would always vote Liberal because of the MP, she was amazing for our riding.
Then we come to the last dilemma. I’m moving in less than a month (hopefully). Since I will be living outside of the country for at least half of the next term or more, than do I really need to take the time to vote? Yes I am still Canadian, and yes the issues still affect me, but do I really get a say when I’m choosing to leave and live somewhere else?