Editorial: Getting out to vote in election is vital

Voting is vital.

The good news: voter turnout in Canada’s last two federal elections has climbed from a historic low in 2008.

The bad news: in the last federal election in 2015, still only 68.3 per cent of eligible voters took the time to head to the ballot box.

In 2008, voter participation in Canada hit an all-time low of just 58.8 per cent. That climbed in 2011 to 61.1 per cent, then hit 68.3 per cent in 2015.

While the number of people getting out to vote is trending in the right direction, those numbers are not something to inspire complacence. Think about it, even in 2015 more than 30 per cent of Canadians didn’t cast a ballot.

Those 65 to 74 were the most likely to vote, at 78.8 per cent. The least likely to vote? Young people: just 57.1 per cent of those 18 to 24 cast a ballot. Elections Canada tells us that this pattern of voting has been the same in every general election since 2004. We can only hope that with youth taking the lead in climate change protests, more will head to their local polling place this year when they have the chance to vote on who will lead this country.

Voting is vital. As we head towards voting day, we can’t help but reflect on how lucky we are here in Canada when it comes to elections. We have many different parties and independents to choose from, with different platforms and outlooks. The system is far from perfect, but we do have choices. Most of us will walk into our voting place and be able to cast our ballot quickly and without difficulty. We do not have the experience here where we have to travel for days to a polling place, line up for several more days, and risk violence for all of the time we wait in line to vote. We also have the assurance that our votes will be tallied fairly, giving us results we can trust, if not always like. That’s not the case in many places in the world, where corruption runs rampant.

We’ve also gotten off pretty easily in terms of attempted interference and misinformation campaigns that have plagued the elections in other countries in recent years. There’s always some (don’t believe everything you see on social media), but on the whole the federal campaign seems to have proceeded unmolested.

There are many important issues at stake in this federal election. Even if you only care about one of them, or even just vaguely care where your country is going next, that’s a compelling reason to get out and vote. It will only take a minute.

Just Posted

Editorial: Cowichan’s farmers thriving despite challenges

Farming and food in Cowichan are interconnected.

Youth airlifted off Mount Tzouhalem after mountain biking accident

A boy was airlifted to hospital Saturday afternoon following an accident on… Continue reading

Cowichan students kept indoors as police search for man with knife

Staff initiated a Hold and Secure protocol at both Tansor Elementary and École Mount Prevost

Chris Wilkinson column: What drives your life?

The 6 Human Needs according to Tony Robbins

Sports Wall of Fame inducts Class of 2019

Patrick Kay, Brian McKinlay, Ted Webb, curling’s Craigs and the Fuller Lake Flyers are honoured

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan remembers the fallen with impressive cenotaph ceremony

Remembrance Day attracts a big crowd of Cowichan Lake folks

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ indigenous educator tells B.C. Supreme Court in case of smudging at school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Wednesday

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Salvation Army kettle campaign targets $200,000 for Island residents in need

Goal is to raise $250,000 this year for Vancouver Island residents needing support

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Most Read