Cherish your vote

If you watch or listen to the national news, in addition to the horrors of civil war in Libya as well as the disasters in Japan, you will know we as Canadians are going to the polls on May 2.

It seems that many see this democratic exercise as a waste of time and money. Do you really think that? Or is it just a cop-out to avoid responsibility for your own political future?

I am old and have seen many elections, but I see it as a wonderful investment and opportunity to say what kind of life and country we wish to have for children, their children as well as the many who come here from other lands to escape repression and abuse of power. When my generation was 18, we had to go to war. Believe me, casting a vote is much easier.

I see voting as our chance to say what we want from life — freedom to earn our living as best we can and raise our children to hope for better lives than we had.

Is it really a waste of money? Do you want to have your tax money spent on war planes and profits for large corporations, or should we have national daycare for working mothers? Don’t we need better health care and less poverty among children and orphans as well as for the elderly and the unemployed?

I know, and so should you, that voting is a hard-earned right which does not exist everywhere. Many have fought and died for “our way of life.” But like many things, if it is not used it will be lost. So please, cherish your vote — it is probably the best investment you will ever have.

Go to the meetings, learn who your candidates are and what are the issues. It all takes time but this is only temporary — you can catch up on the other things later

So please, young folks and students especially, teachers and health workers, listen to the candidates, decide who and what to vote for, learn the issues at this time and then vote.

The future in Canada is yours but it is up to you to make it, so go for it.

Rae Fowler

Penticton