It would be all too easy to decide to just stay home on Monday, October 26, and not vote.
Many people will think, “I just have one vote, it’s not going to make any difference”, or “others will decide this election, so why should I vote?”
And this year, there’s a new excuse: “I’m afraid of COVID, and I don’t want to risk my health going out to vote …”
These and other thoughts may come to you, but don’t listen to them. Canada is a free, democratic country with a freedom to vote in regularly-held elections that doesn’t exist in other countries, or else it exists under extremely restrictive circumstances.
In some countries, there’s only one candidate allowed to come forward (like, say, the ruling dictator of the day) and that’s the one who everyone is supposed to vote for.
Whatever you may think of our Canadian Parliamentary system, or our parties and candidates, we nonetheless have the freedom to cast a ballot, and moreover, to take the time to consider one’s voting choice.
In Weyburn-Big Muddy, the candidates include the incumbent, Dustin Duncan of the Saskatchewan Party; Regan Lanning for the NDP; Collin Keith of the Buffalo Party; and Shane Caellaigh of the Saskatchewan Green Party.
The first three candidates at least have been out and about in the riding, and are available to talk to if you have issues or questions about where they stand on issues important to you.
Plus, those three took part in a candidates forum on Thursday evening, and it can be viewed through AccessNow and you can listen to their points of view on a variety of issues.
There are many important issues for Saskatchewan voters to consider, such as how a government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, and what should be done going forward; there is the impact of that pandemic on education, on the economy and on the daily lives of every person living and working or growing up in this province.
Separate, specific issues like highways, health care, education, social services, funding for municipalities and so on, are also important, and knowing where a candidate stands on those things you consider to be the most important is a part of knowing how you’re going to vote.
There are advance polls and mail-in ballots available for those who really do not want to venture out on election day, plus there will be safeguards in place on voting day itself. One’s fear or concerns should not interfere with exercising one’s democratic right and privilege to vote.
Don’t take the freedoms we have for granted – take advantage of them, exercise them, and make sure that your opinion and vote is made, and help make a difference in the life of this province going forward. — Greg Nikkel