What other right would you willingly give up? VOTE!

Oct 15 2015

By Ann Buller, President & CEO, Centennial College

The Centennial College community is committed to building great Global Citizens. We should be very proud of the breadth of work that is going on throughout the College.

One of the primary privileges, and arguably one of the primary responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship, is voting. Our province is at a pivotal point in its history, and which party forms the next government should be of concern to each of us.

When you chose not to vote, you let others speak for you.  You ignore a fundamental right – a right that much of the world is currently fighting to attain. By birth, by luck, by choice, we are Canadians. Because of that, we have for years had the right to create our own government. When we see what others are willing to give up for the privilege of marking an X on a ballot, surely we should feel a strengthened sense of responsibility to vote.

The news media are making it easy to follow the key policies being discussed. No matter whether you love the ink of the newspaper or prefer the immediacy of broadcast, it will take very little time to see what the leaders stand for, and to learn what difference they will make if elected. Read a blog, check out a website, follow the candidate’s Tweets – just please, pay attention.

Apathy and cynicism are the death knell of an organization, and add to the deterioration of a county. We often joke that politics is a subject that should never be discussed in “polite” company, but during an election we need to ignore this rule of etiquette. An informed voter is a powerful one.

Your choice of candidate and party are exactly that – your choice. But as Canadians, we owe it to each other to exercise this fundamental right. Some of us may feel that we are tired of elections, but spend a moment considering what life would be like without this option.

As an immigrant, I can clearly remember the first time I voted in an election. My candidate did not win, but I did. It was the first time I felt truly Canadian. I hope the feeling never goes away.

Ann Buller

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