It was election day here in Ontario yesterday. Time to decide who will lead our cities for the next four years. Since I turned 18, I have never missed the chance to cast my ballot in any election. And my husband and I have told our kids ad nauseam about how they need to vote every chance they get...
Last night at dinner, I found out that none of my kids discussed the election in any class today. Their teachers do not like to talk about politics in front of students, they said. And none of the students seemed overly interested in the election either, despite the fact that municipal elections are the ones that most directly impact their lives.
How is it that a generation of teenagers, who seem intent on changing the entire world any chance they get, showed so little interest in doing something about it?
It was the same for the adults, though. Just over 40% -about 42% - of the city's population actually went out and voted.
Not even half of the entire city thought it was important enough to cast their vote.
And yet, those people who didn't vote, will most certainly be very loud when things don't go the way they want in this city, won't they?
I'm of the opinion that if you don't vote, you shouldn't get to complain about politicians or how our city is run. Maybe some of the non-voters thought that their vote didn't count; that their vote wouldn't make a difference to the outcome in their area. And maybe they were right. But maybe, just maybe, their vote would have been the one to force changes. To make our city an even better place to live, and to raise a family in.
Maybe, non-voters, you should remember all those cities and countries where people do not have a say in what their government does, or in who runs their country and their lives.
Maybe, next time, be grateful that you live in a country where democracy still wins.