Issues too important to sit on the sidelines

Every vote could make a difference in provincial election campaign that could go down to the wire

By now, you are probably getting a little tired of hearing about the upcoming election.

With near daily releases of new polls monitoring the performance of the two main parties, it can seem like the election campaign has been going on for two years, not just the few weeks since the writ was dropped in mid-April.

Those polls make an election seem more like an extended horse race, but they do provide fodder for water cooler conversation. For instance, at one point it looked like the NDP would take the province in a landslide. But as election day, May 14, draws nearer, the NDP’s double-digit lead is evaporating.

And in Penticton, Liberal candidate Dan Ashton is in a closer race than many expected with the NDP’s Dick Cannings.

In the end though, polls aren’t that useful. They don’t — and shouldn’t — tell you which way to vote. But sometimes, when one candidate or another is leading, polls can mislead people into thinking they don’t need to get out there and cast their own ballot.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons for the low voter turnout we see in Canadian elections — voters are convinced their vote won’t count. Or it might be apathy, or a feeling that there is no hope to make a difference.

We’ve said this before, in other elections and this one. Still, it’s common to see as little as 50 per cent of eligible voters turn out to vote. Penticton did a little better in the last election, with 53 per cent getting out to cast their vote.

Get out there and cast your vote. No matter what else, there is only one winner at the end of election day. It might be your candidate, or it might not. But as long as you get out there and vote, nobody around the water cooler can say you don’t have a right to engage in Canadians’ favourite pastime of complaining about the government.