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The race for the federal election is on in earnest now, and there are many, many important issues

The race for the federal election is on in earnest now, and there are many, many important issues that will be impacted by the decision Canadians make at the polls on Oct. 19.

And yet, many, many people will choose not to vote.

Voting numbers in Canada have been on the decline for years, whether it’s for federal, provincial or municipal elections.

Lots of the people who won’t cast a ballot on Oct. 19 won’t consciously decide they’re not going to do it in any meaningful way. They just kinda won’t get there on election day — they’ll be too busy picking up the kids or going to a friend’s house, or just watching the game on television.

They’re all lame excuses when it comes down to it.

Voting in Canada is easy and in the Cowichan Valley at least, quick.

We don’t have to line up for days, keeping watch for the thugs that will try to intimidate us out of exercising our democratic rights as happens in far too many countries still.

Voting is a hard-fought-for right, but we believe it’s also an important responsibility.

Democracy doesn’t work without our participation. It’s such a simple thing for us to find out a little about who’s running and to go and mark our “x”.

It is a tragedy that so many have sunk so deep into apathy, have so readily taken for granted that the rights they don’t exercise will always be there for them should they wish to pick them up. If we keep down the path we’re on, one day they might not be.

And to make things even easier for constituents in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding, we’re partnering with the Goldstream Gazette to bring you a story each week about where our local candidates stand on a particular issue.

Starting this week with a look at refugees and immigration, as the subject has been dominating the news of late, we’ll be examining our candidates positions on such topics as jobs and the economy, the environment, First Nations issues, and childcare.

We hope you’ll join us in finding out a little more about our choices, then join us in voting on Oct. 19.