Casting our ballots more important than ever

We hope you’ll take some time this weekend and decide who you are going to vote for on Monday.

We hope you’ll take some time this weekend and decide who you are going to vote for on Monday.

Then take the time to go and cast your ballot on Oct. 19.

It usually only takes a couple of minutes, but it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your community and your country.

The excuses not to vote are legion, repetitive and all remain unconvincing.

You’re too busy. You haven’t been paying attention so you don’t know who to vote for. It won’t make any difference anyway. You don’t care.

To help you with your decision take a look at pages 22-23 in this edition to get a snapshot of each of the candidates in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding.

So that’s one excuse gone.

There were four advance voting days and still to come is election day, so in total you get five days to cast your ballot. On Oct. 19 there will be many more voting stations available to voters so lineups are unlikely to be longer than a few minutes in most places. Another excuse gone.

Every newscast for weeks has explained that this is going to be a tight race, so your vote will definitely count, and could tip the balance one way or another. There goes that excuse, too.

As for the last one — we cannot force you to care but we can tell you why you should.

If we want our democracy to continue on into the future, it is vital that we exercise our franchise.

People fought hard to give us these rights that we now take for granted.

If that doesn’t convince you to head to the ballot box consider that this is your chance to have a direct say in the future of the country in which you live. This is you saying what you want the future of Canada to look like — what you want your future to look like. How can that not be worth a few minutes of your time?

Surely you care enough about the environment, or health care, or jobs, or the Trans Pacific Partnership, or childcare, or veterans, or pensions — at least one of those — to mark your “x”.

In Canada there’s really no good excuse not to vote.

In other nations people line up for days or even weeks to cast their ballot. They have to face threats and thugs and even physical violence to have their say in their country’s future.

And yet they travel for hundreds of kilometres, sometimes on foot, to polling places, not even sure that corruption won’t mean their vote is ultimately futile anyway.

Yet they see how important it is, while far too many of us abdicate our basic democratic responsibility. Their courage and perseverance should shame us. So vote on Oct. 19. You’ll only regret it if you don’t, not if you do.