Editorial on civic election voter apathy spot on

In spite of the many efforts ... the overall turnout was abysmal.

Dear editor,

Your recent editorial on voter apathy in our recent civic election was right on the mark.

In spite of the many efforts of the Record (as well as others in the community) to publicize and inform voters on issues, candidates and voting information, the overall turnout was abysmal.

It is ironic that just a few weeks ago, one of the top news stories around the world told of how protesting citizens in Hong Kong were prepared to face incarceration or even death just for the right to have a say in their government.

Another irony is that our election occurred only days after Remembrance Day when we honoured the many veterans who lost their lives for democracy and a free vote.

Our complacency borders on insult to their bravery and their sacrifice. Even today, military personnel from our own community are serving in the Middle East to help protect the cause of freedom and peace. The least we could do is vote.

We are fortunate that we still have a free press and both our local papers did an admirable job of encouraging, cajoling, informing, educating and providing a forum for debate in an attempt to increase the voter turnout. Obviously something more needs to be done.

Perhaps in order to save ourselves from ourselves Canada may need to legislate the “right to vote” into a “duty to vote” upheld by law.

Also, maybe now is the time we need to seriously look at online voting to make it easier for people in unusual circumstances to cast a ballot.

Or, at the risk of expanding an already overloaded curriculum in schools and colleges, we may need to build in a mandatory course designed appropriately for various age levels from K-12 and first-year college programs on civic responsibilities and democratic rights.

At the end of the day, these are just tools because our free society ultimately will depend on the commitment of each individual citizen to help uphold the preservation of our rights and freedoms.

Hopefully we don’t have to lose them before we understand.

 

 

Danielle Fortosky

Area B

 

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