Vote and Be the change!

Earth General Store encourages everyone to cast a vote this Federal Election. Vote and Be the change!

A federal election is happening on October 19th, 2015. The percentage of people voting in all levels of government has been quite sad. When a party can win with a majority with less than 40% of the popular vote and with just over 60% of eligible voters casting a vote.

When you don’t vote the people that do cast a vote get twice the effect of their vote – yours and theirs. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter” – Martin Luther King Jr.

The age of people casting their vote is also a concern. The group of people that are aged 60-75 are substantially more likely to vote than people in the 18-34 age group. These people are focused on quite different issues and if the younger people don’t show up to vote their issues will not be addressed. When people from all ages, sexes, and ethnic groups participate in the the electoral system then the outcome is a better reflection of the majority of citizens. Of course if we implemented proportional representation and had more independents elected the outcome would even be more reflective of the will of the people.

Let’s send a message to the government. Let’s all get out and vote this year so that they know we are paying attention, we will vote for change, we believe in a democracy, and we believe in a healthy future.

This long weekend people have the opportunity to vote in advance polls. Elections Canada makes it easy to find out where you can cast your advance vote by simply entering your postal code on their webpage. The advance polling station is NOT the voting day polling station.

You can vote in the advance polls this long weekend on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 9, 2015
  • Saturday, October 10, 2015
  • Sunday, October 11, 2015
  • Monday, October 12, 2015

Advance polls will be open from noon to 8:00pm on each of the above days.

When you go to vote you WILL have to take two pieces of identification with you. You can get a list of what is acceptable at this Elections Canada webpage.

Advance polls gives people a chance to reduce the stress of having to vote on a work day (Monday, October 19th, 2015) and allows people to fit in more into their own schedule. It should only take 15-30 minutes out of your weekend to get to the polling station and go through the process. Remember that if it is busy – IT IS A GOOD THING 🙂

Don’t let a minority vote in a majority. Let’s vote in a government that is more reflective of the diverse mosaic that is Canada. Let’s have a great reason to fell proud on October 20th, 2015.

Be more informed

Commit/Pledge to Voting

If you commit to voting you are more likely to vote. All political parties know this and will be working the phones on October 19th to ensure that they “get out the vote” – at least those that suggested that the voter was going to vote for their party.

  • Suzuki Foundation
  • CBC Hashtag #PledgeToVote
  • Canadian Muslim
  • Every political party has a ‘pledge to vote’ button on their webpage. Go to each one and say you are going to vote and let them know the issues you are most interested in
  • Council of Canadians
  • BeTheVote.ca – encourages people to vote and take one person with them that normally would not vote #PledgePlus1
  • Rock the Vote
  • ‘First Nations Rock the Vote’ and ‘Rock the Indigenous Vote’. Getting more First Nation/Indigenous people to run for federal politics and encourage people to get out and vote so their issues can be brought forward

Party Platforms/Websites

There are several smaller parties and independents running across Canada. Independents offer an alternative to party – one size fits all. Independents offer an opportunity to vote for the person, who they are, what they believe in and not tied to the behemoth that is a large political party.

  • National Post’s ongoing pocket guide to the different parties platforms
  • The Star’s ongoing guide to party platforms
  • Pollenize provides a summary on party platforms
  • ICanParty provides a summary on party platforms
  • Canada.Com what are the parties promising on different issues

Interesting links

  • MacLean Magazine – election issues (though they are missing important issues like indigenous rights, seniors, higher education, provincial/federal relations, etc)
  • Vote Compass – great little tool to help to see where you sit on issues and where the parties align with your position
  • ThreeHundredEight.com – outcome projections
  • Great that Elections Canada has finally figured out how to get pop up election booths at universities and colleges.
  • Check out this video from University of Guelph student group. Students/Youth are an important sector of our society.
  • VoteSavvy.ca is a fun and encouraging platform to engage Canadian youth to vote. (Where are the vote mobs for Edmonton?)
  • Check out this rant by Rick Mercer on encouraging youth to vote (his comments are still valid on Election 2015)
  • Daveberta.ca – great political commentary with a Edmonton/Alberta focus. Very knowledgeable writer.

Each political party out there and each candidate wants to buy your vote. It is valuable. Get the most value from your vote. There are SO many issues that need to be improved in Canada and the world. They won’t be magically resolved overnight or by one person, one party… but we can start on the right path right away. We can be informed. We can  vote.

In Canada, as a democratic nation, we have the right to vote. We also have the responsibility to vote as being a citizen of this country.

If you don’t like the polls, where we came from or where the country might go – change it. Vote!

No matter who gets elected as the government our democratic responsibility does not end on October 19th – it only just begins. Federal democratic responsibilities does not only happen once ever four years. We need to be vigilant and hold those elected accountable to their promises and platform(s). Make them know we are watching and will take action.

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