Last Sunday, 7.00 pm, after meeting good friends for our usual Sunday treat of yummy Chinese food, I went to the Community Centre and voted. I had seen that voting was open until 8.00pm and thought I would take the opportunity to take advantage of the timing. Unusual to have access to casting your vote on Sunday but it was wonderful to have the opportunity to do this at such a convenient time for me.
I always do take the opportunity to cast my ballot, but normally it is the best part of an hour to go through the process as it is usually busy. To walk in and out in mere minutes was great, but it is rather sad that voting is now open for the best part of a month to try and get more people to perform this simple duty.
Having a vote is a privilege that too few people take advantage of. Our great grandmothers were chaining themselves to railings to try to get the vote for women. Females were virtually non persons for many years. They could not own property, even if bequeathed to them from parents. There were so many public places that women were unable to enter, unless accompanied by a male escort.
The reason that all of us, not just women, have so many freedoms today is by act of government, which is only changed by public opinion. So, instead of sitting home complaining about the state of the country, get out and vote, it is only your voice, and that of your neighbours that can change the way things are.
Knowing which party is the best choice to vote for is very difficult. This is because none of them seem to have a “platform” to discuss. Political broadcasts today seem to be less of a discussion of future plans than an opportunity to rip apart the reputation of your opponent.
Every few minutes our television programs are interrupted with advertisements by one party that are nothing but derogatory comments about another. Gone are the days when we listened to a half hour declaration of the aspirations of a candidate, now it is more of a schoolyard slanging match.
All we can do to change the way things are is to listen to our local candidates and try to really weigh the options of which one of them will try to do their best for our community. Only one candidate has actually knocked on my door, which was the way it was done “in the good old days”. Other candidates rely on recorded messages on our telephone. I know this is the way to cover the biggest amount of people but a knock on the door of your home certainly makes you feel that someone genuinely wants to make a difference.
Which ever way you decide to vote, just do it. If you do cast your ballot, you have done your part to try to change things. Sitting at home complaining does absolutely nothing at all. A vote is a powerful thing, make yours count.