Cautiously optimistic. It appears a superbly Canadian angle—constructive and upbeat with out going overboard.
Earlier this 12 months, the Group for Financial Co-operation and Improvement requested residents from 21 developed international locations whether or not they felt their authorities listened and responded to their views. The overwhelming majority of respondents all over the world stated they have been deeply skeptical about their potential to affect authorities—in some international locations as much as 70 per cent felt ignored. As democracies retreated all over the world, based on the OECD, Canadians distinguished themselves by being “cautiously optimistic about their political voice.” Solely Norwegians have been extra assured of their potential to direct leaders and form public coverage.
On the eve of the Oct. 21 federal election, nevertheless, it’s time to do higher than “cautiously optimistic.”
The easy act of voting should be an necessary second in any Canadian’s life. The possibility to immediately affect the path of our nation, its insurance policies and the one who leads us is a profoundly empowering alternative. Too many troopers died defending our democratic freedoms to take this act without any consideration.
There may be proof of motion towards better optimism in Canada. The final federal election noticed a formidable enchancment in voter participation: 68 per cent of eligible voters solid ballots, the very best turnout since 1993. The rising recognition of advance polls additional suggests many Canadians wish to solid their vote as quickly as potential. Much more heartening is the rise in two key demographics: younger and Indigenous voters. Amongst Canadians aged 18 to 24 years previous, the participation price rose from 39 per cent to 57 per cent between 2011 and 2015—the largest hike Elections Canada has ever recorded. And the hole between Indigenous and non-Indigenous voting charges fell to lower than 5 proportion factors; as not too long ago as 2004 there was a 20-point distinction.
Past these hopeful indicators from the final election, there are numerous extra causes for Canadians to get enthusiastic about democratic decision-making. The platforms of all main events have correctly zeroed in on a number of key features of Canadian life: housing affordability, the tax burden, elevating youngsters and aiding low-income Canadians. However how the events intend to deal with these points varies broadly. On taxes, for instance, the Liberals and Conservatives each promise tax cuts of equal measurement however differing implications; the Greens and New Democrats largely provide tax hikes to fund different initiatives. Select your individual journey.
This election may also require voters so as to add their voices to issues far past the eating room desk. How will Canada tackle the local weather disaster? Are vitality tasks that cross provincial strains a factor of the previous? And what of defence, agriculture, Indigenous points? Whoever wins this election may also should chart a difficult international coverage path, on condition that we have now fewer dependable allies and lots of potential opponents—together with an unpredictable U.S. President Donald Trump and a bullying China. Who finest to face these challenges?
Want another reason to become involved? The whole election might rely upon you. Secure seats are more and more scarce this time round. Based on projections by Maclean’s contributor Philippe J. Fournier of 338Canada, 62 seats are thought-about toss-ups as of press time. Such a excessive diploma of uncertainty means this election continues to be very a lot up for grabs.
Each vote issues. Particularly yours.
This text seems in print within the November 2019 concern of Maclean’s journal with the headline, “Simply vote.” Subscribe to the month-to-month print journal here.
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