Vote — democracy will thank you

Only four days until the miracle of democracy happens again, right before our eyes, in school gymnasiums across B.C.

Only four days until the miracle of democracy happens again, right before our eyes, in school gymnasiums across B.C.

OK, it’s not much compared to the steam clock in Gastown, which can be counted on to do its tourist-enchanting thing once an hour, but it’s still pretty special.

You and I get to join about two million of our neighbours to elect the government that will run our province for the next four years.

And that’s a privilege many people in the rest of the world do not enjoy. More than 40 per cent do not live in a democracy, and have no say over who runs their lives.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, well what kind of choice do I have? Gordon Campbell? Carole James? Jane Sterk? (Jane Who?)”

I have to admit, there are no Barack Obamas in this crowd, but this choice is better than no choice, and the contestants were all elected to lead their respective parties.

Despite being offered a front row seat and a chance to participate in the above-mentioned miracle, nearly half of the eligible voters in B.C. will give it a pass.

The 2001 provincial election was the low water mark: a record-low turnout of 55 per cent cast their ballot. It was a little better in 2005: 58 per cent, and Elections B.C. is hoping beyond hope that this time, we can struggle over the 60 per cent mark.

For some reason, everyone is really good at complaining about the government, but not so good at doing anything about it.

It’s not even hard to do.

With the advance polls open Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the election Tuesday, it’s almost as easy to vote as it is to pay $5 for a cup of coffee, and that’s saying something.

Let’s do a little exercise. Wherever you are right now — on the bus, the SkyTrain, standing in line waiting to pay $5 for a cup of coffee — look surreptitiously at the person next to you. (If that person is holding this weekend’s Metro and looking surreptitiously back at you, well, you’re both on the same page.)

Consider this: If voting patterns from past elections hold, one of you will not vote this election.

Is it you?

Or is it that lazy franchise flouter who’s giving you the evil eye?

The only way to make sure he/she is the guilty one, and to make sure that bozo (insert hated politician’s name here) doesn’t get elected, is to exercise that flabby franchise.

Your democracy will thank you for it.

 
 
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