LETTER – You do have a right to complain, but you also have a duty to vote

Dear editor,

Re: Denman Islander says it’s his constitutional right to complain (Oct. 25 letter) in response to Terry Farrell’s closing comment in his Oct. 18 editorial “…if you choose not to vote then you have no right to complain.”

While I would agree that every citizen may complain about anything that “doesn’t incite hatred toward an identifiable group,” the form that freedom of speech can take has been closely examined in the shadow of American politics. And while, as a Canadian citizen, you have a right to complain, as well as a right to vote, you in fact do have a duty to vote.

The thing that has been forgotten was very pointedly discussed by a veteran speaking to pre-teens interviewing him about his Second World War experiences. To the question, “Given your experiences in WWII, what would you tell young people today?”

His answer, so simple and poignant was this: “Get an education, and vote. We fought for that right.” Thank you, Dave Blackburn, may you rest in peace, those words still resonate with us today.

Truly, did only 37 per cent of recent Courtenay voters appreciate that sacrifice?

On this Remembrance Day, and the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WWI, let us remember those who sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice, for the rights and freedoms we continue to enjoy, and unfortunately, abuse.

May we think twice before we take them for granted. Many outside our borders can only dream of such rights and freedoms.

Elizabeth Cornock Day

Courtenay

Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Email letters@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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