Monday, September 15, 2008

So, it's election time.

That's right - both countries that make up the wonderful continent of North America are going to the polls within the next two months to elect respective governments.

On one hand, we have our good friends the United States - whose election process is about as long as a term in office - and one the other, we have our great country of Canada - whose leader seemingly only has to hand a Post-It note to the Governor General in order to dissolve our government and call an election for last week. Two vastly different approaches to the electoral system, yet two democratic processes designed to give the power to the people.

There are any number of aspects of either of the current elections that I could go on about this week, but one idea in particular is that of the right to vote. Too often people are vocal about their inability to be heard. Either one group's rights are not being upheld or another faction is being affected by a particular policy. Every so often, an opportunity is presented to each and every one of us to be counted - and that opportunity is on our country's respective election day.

This point is made perfectly by Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson in his monologue from his September 10, 2008 show, which can be seen here:

I realize he is addressing specifically young people in the US, but the truth is - it is our duty in either country to get off our butts and exercise a right many have sacrificed to provide.

In a day and age when there is EVERY opportunity to complain about not being able to make a difference and how things are moving too fast around us - one constant remains...and that is our democratic right to freely elect our leadership. Do not just talk about doing something - actually do it.

So, if you are in the US or if you are in Canada - you are about to have the opportunity to participate in two historical elections that could help shape the future of these nations. It's a pain, it's inconvenient, it takes time - but it is necessary.

Do not misunderstand - I am not 'voting activist', I have never publicly spoken about my political beliefs, but at the end of the day, I am also someone who would rather be a member of the active majority as opposed to the vocal minority.