Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Get out and vote

Opinion

Want to make a change in your province or community, or do you want to maintain the status quo?

In less than one week’s time you will have the right to do that. You just have to use it.

We are talking about voting, of course. And by this time next week, some of us will have exercised our right to vote. Sadly, many will not bother.

Too often, many of us sit around in coffee shops and grumble — about the state of the economy, the out-migration of youth, the crisis in health care and in particular, mental health care, or the current condition of local roads.

We lament increases in taxes and decreases in employment opportunities, the ballooning costs of nutritious food and post-secondary education and the decreasing availability of a family physician. We complain about the protracted length of time it takes to get seniors into a nursing home and the seemingly never-ending efforts to keep emergency rooms open.

How many us of complaining have actually voted in the last election? How many of us on election day — whether federal, provincial or municipal — actually get out and make our voices heard?

Sadly, the number of citizens of legal voting age who actually cast their ballots and mark their ‘X’ seems to decrease with each election.

Voter apathy is high. Lack of interest in politics and the political process in general has disenfranchised voters.

Yet voting has never been easier. A write-in program has become an option to encourage more Nova Scotians to vote.

Every returning office set up for the May 30 provincial election campaign has a write-in ballot team ready to go where the voters are to cast their ballot.

Polling stations are open from now until election day. Polls are actually open until 8 p.m. from now until voting day. In fact, they were open on Victoria Day for nine hours. And next Tuesday, Election Day, May 30, the polls will be open for 12 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Take some time to learn about the issues that matter most to your community as a whole or to you personally. Read on further in this newspaper to meet each of the candidates who have offered to be your representative in provincial government. There are 10 local people in three ridings and four political parties who are each vying for your vote.

There is still time to ask questions on your own. Talk to the candidates when they come to your door or call the candidates and ask the questions that matter most to you. Think your one vote won’t matter? Think again!

If we don’t make our voices heard, do we really have the right to complain about the work being done by the person or party in power?

Voting is a right. You have the right to decide who you want to represent your interests.

Stand up. Be counted. Make your voice heard.

Cast your ballot on election day.

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