Friday, October 03, 2003

Election Day

** Note ** I have decided to delay the publishing of this blog, so that the election results would be old news. This is purely my own personal opinion, and have no reflection to any political affiliation.

I voted today. Yes, for the first time in my life. Since becoming eligible to vote, I had missed three elections (one provincial, one municipal, and one federal). My rationale for not voting (translation: excuse) is that I didn't know enough about the issues to make an educated judgment. Fair enough. Now that I'm much older and wiser (some of you will dispute the latter part), I feel that I have seen enough in the politics to make an informed decision.

Some people have told me that I may not know the issues deep enough to cast my 'educated vote', or that I am too naive and simplifying my ideas too much. My response to that is, well, tough. The fact that the government trusts us young people to vote, shows that our thoughts and ideas matter. Surely I may be naive, but there are issues that I feel strongly about, issues that perhaps nobody else cares about. In a democratic society, we should vote based on our own opinion on the issues, and not follow what the rest of the society defines as "Key Issues of This Election".

I care about education in this province, especially the funding that is given to schools (not just universities). Yes, it is because I am a student and I care about my tuition going up 15% every year, while the quality of teaching and resources diminish rapidly. I want my government to represent me, not Joe Doe down the street. Selfish, you say; I say that's exactly how democracy is intended - if it works for me, and it works for more than 50% of the population, then that's the way it should be done. In the unfortunate case that I am in a minority group, that's just too bad for me.

As I cast my ballot, I felt a sense of empowerment rushed to me. I am participating in a democratic process - I am making the system work for me. I am exercising my right as a citizen of a country that believes in democracy. In the end, my vote didn't matter (yes it really didn't), but I felt damn good about what I have done today.

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