The longest Canadian federal election campaign in recent history will soon be but a memory. We have reached the final weekend in the campaign and polls show the final result is still anyone’s guess.
And if last weekend’s advance polls are any indication, Canadians are taking an interest in this election. An estimated 3.6 million Canadians took time out of their Thanksgiving weekends to head down to their local polling stations.
That number represents an astonishing 71 per cent increase in the number of voters who took advantage of advanced polling in the last election and hopefully bodes well that Canada can see an increase in the 2011 voter turnout of 61.4 per cent, the third lowest total in Canadian history.
The signs are positive so far. Reports indicate some voters faced lineups as long as two hours to cast their ballots. The sight of hundreds of prospective voters lined up out the door of polling stations is enough to restore even a jaded cynic’s faith in democracy. Maybe democracy shouldn’t be quick and easy, maybe waiting in line for two hours can help to underscore the importance of the act of voting.
The vast majority of Canadians will make their way to the polls on Monday. And this year’s marathon campaign has certainly delivered no shortage of reasons to cast a ballot for any one of the candidates. Whether it’s taxes, pensions, health care, infrastructure spending, debt and deficits, security issues or a combination of the above, there are clear differences between the political parties.
We would urge all Saanich voters to take the time to join in the democratic process. Just identify the issue or issues that you feel are important and cast your vote for the party you feel best represents those views. There are no right or wrong answers, only the pride that comes from being part of the democratic process.