BASS: Just vote!
OK, this is my last chance to encourage, cajole — heck, beg, even — all of you who can to get up on Saturday and vote.
You all know the reasons you should do it, but let’s go over them one more time.
You should vote because you have the right to vote.
A lot of you may have even honoured that right on Remembrance Day last Friday or perhaps when you bought a poppy for your jacket.
Your parents and grandparents likely have been honouring it for decades.
You should vote because you want your kids to know it’s important.
In my family, my kids all know they have to vote.
The older three, who are of legal voting age and live in Ontario, know that I’ll be on the phone before any election in that province, reminding them to vote.
The fact they exercise that right is more important to me than who they vote for, hence the Green supporter, the Conservative backer and the NDPer.
Yes, they cancel each other’s vote out in the end, but at least they’re out there cancelling them.
My younger two, one of whom will be voting in the 2014 municipal election — he turns 19 just days after the next scheduled provincial vote — are already engaged in the process, asking questions and debating the merits of various candidates and parties.
You should vote because that gives you the right to complain.
Think of it this way — if you didn’t bring a dish to the potluck, you’ve got no right to complain there’s nothing to eat.
You should vote because, of all the elections in which we get to take part — thanks again, great grandpa, for that right — the civic one involves folks who will make tangible decisions.
They’re the ones who will decide if your street gets lights, if your road gets repaired, if your buses run more frequently, if your school stays open and if your water will be metered.
They’re the ones who will likely answer their own phones if you call them.
They don’t have constituency assistants and others filtering your message to them.
You should vote because a lot of good people are offering themselves up to represent you at that council and school-board table.
I don’t agree with the positions of many of them and likely won’t vote for most of them — my list is wavering between two and three for council, just two for school board — but they’re out there, ready to contribute, knowing full well they’ll be making decisions with which people, including their own family and friends, might not agree.
I know how thankless the job can be sometimes, having had a father who first worked for city hall before becoming a councillor and a mother who was on a lot of school-board committees back home.
It wasn’t quite the same, but I know how hard she worked and that was just as a volunteer.
You should vote because it’s your money they’re spending.
It’s your money that will keep the lights on in classrooms, gas in the buses, cool filters in the water-treatment centre and police at the end of every 911 call.
It’s your money they’ll want to be spending on new projects, be it a performing-arts centre (for the record, that is such a great idea), prettier entrances to the city (whatever that might mean) or year-round schooling (irrelevant to me with one graduating and the last one a year away from it).
And, who knows what other projects and proposals and parkade designs they’ll dream up and want us to pay for in the next three years?
You should vote because it’s so darn easy.
You go to your neighbourhood elementary school, show your two pieces of ID and fill out a couple of forms.
I’m not sure if we have to mark an ‘X’ or fill in a circle, but neither takes a lot of effort.
It might be the easiest thing you do on Saturday.