Today was election day in Canada and I voted. I voted because I don’t like what is happening in my riding, but more so because I disagree with the way the country has been governed for the last five years. I voted because not is not only my right, I feel that it is my responsibility. I voted because I have no reason not to vote. People all over this country overcome far greater obstacles than I did to get to the polls. People like my grandfather who, at 97, voted at the advance polls to ensure that his vote counts. He voted at the advance poll because he wasn’t sure he would make it to election day (he did). Democracy came to Poland long after he fled with his wife and twin boys, so he knows how significant it is to vote. People around the world die fighting for the right to vote, so I can figure out how to fit voting in between naps and dinner. I voted because I have never not voted, and I firmly believe that you have to vote to be able to complain about the results.
Most importantly, I voted for my children. I want them to know that they have a voice, that what they think and believe in can be heard, and that they can make a difference. They have accompanied us to every election that has taken place in their short lives. They are starting to ask questions about the process and about the candidates that we are considering electing, and I love to talk to them about the process and how important it is. I’ll continue to teach them about democracy, until I can watch them go and vote for the first time. They are the future, and teaching them about the electoral process ensures a better future for them.