With the provincial election only two days away I am hoping Georgina residents have done their homework and are ready to go to the polls to make an informed decision on who they want to represent them at Queen’s Park.
For me, one of the best venues which helped me make an informed decision was the all-candidates debate at the Stephen Leacock Centre in Keswick on June 2.
It not only gave the candidates an opportunity to explain the differences in their platforms when presented with the same question, it gave them an opportunity to challenge each other’s statements which resulted in a healthy and lively debate.
But I was a little disappointed at the turnout. I was expecting a standing-room-only crowd but there seemed to be fewer than 100 people there. And judging from the crowd reaction, a lot of the attendees were there to provide support for their favourite candidate.
Believe me when I say that I completely understand why the Ontario electorate is lethargic when it comes to elections—they have been burned over and over again by broken promises and ne’er-do-well politicians. But that excuse does not sit well with me at all. Casting your vote is your civic responsibility—it is a right which many people have died to protect. You not only owe it to yourself to participate but you owe it to their memory and their sacrifice. It is the very least you can do.
The importance of this election cannot be overstated. I think Ontario is finally on the brink of moving back into its historical position as a “have” province. And the issues of the economy, job opportunities, healthcare, electricity rates, accountability and the environment have all risen to the top of the priority list in the minds of citizens.
I invite you to identify the issues which resonate most with you and take a look at which party and/or candidate has a platform in keeping with your own thinking.
There is an interesting website at http://www.votecompass.com — it is an on-line democratic engagement tool which allows you to see which of the parties running in this election are most aligned with your attitudes around many of the issues. The software calculates your answers to approximately 30 questions concerning health care, social programs, taxes and education to name a few. At the end of the questionnaire it presents a graph showing where you are in relation to the platforms of the Conservatives, Green Party, Liberals and NDP. It’s cool and I encourage you to give it a try—either just for the fun of it or perhaps it could give you some insight if you are still not sure how to vote.