I wonder how many of us are actually looking forward to the next two weeks of being bombarded by TV, radio and print-ads for our Provincial election? If you are like me, I would say that no, you are not. While I feel that voting is an absolutely important way to have our voices heard, these ads drive me crazy. I feel like I am watching and listening to children arguing in the schoolyard.
Although I feel this way, I still cast my ballot every vote. I believe that voting is an important part of our country’s democracy. I feel proud to be a Canadian and have the rights and freedoms that we do. I think to continue to have those we all need to make the decision to vote.
I think that great leadership begins with us, as parents. We need to teach our children that even if we don’t agree with all the parties or their platforms, our vote makes a difference and we get to vote for the party that most reflects our beliefs and things we think are important to us and our families. Many of us choose not to vote, actually I heard a report on the news the other day that said we only had a 48% turnout for the last provincial vote. Not even half of the province decided it was important.
Voting is especially important for young voters to believe in. Our young and new voter turnout is dismally low. Eventually these young people will be running our country. This belief in voting starts when our children are young. They need to know that their voices are important, that every single vote counts. We owe it to ourselves to be a part of this, part of something bigger than all of us. This is the voice of our future. Our children need to know that all their votes matter and that their single vote really can make a difference.
I am going to make it a point to teach my two older children all about this Provincial vote. You can find all kinds of information online including what each party’s political platform is for this vote. My older two children are 8 and 11, so they will understand this discussion quite well. I need them to know that as much as voting can sometimes be an inconvenience in the busy world we live in, it is important that they head to the polls when they are old enough. I also want them to know that they have to reach their own decisions about who they will choose to vote for. I want them to make informed choices. I don’t follow politics on a regular basis because to be honest, a lot of it bores me but when there is a vote imminent, I make it a point to find out as much information as I can so I can make an informed decision.
Being a leader means taking responsibility and taking responsibility includes making your voice count. So I will be voting on June 12 because no matter how insignificant I think my single vote is, it matters.
Will you be voting? Do you believe that our children need to learn the importance of having their voices heard and will you be talking to your kids about the upcoming elections?