One of the great mysteries of human behaviour for me is how and why people vote. This probably says something about my psychological make-up, but I was concerned and interested in people exercising their democratic rights when I was a teenager. To me it seemed the ultimate symbol of adulthood. The proof that you were finally in control of your own small corner of the world. The knowledge that each of us had had the right and obligation to carefully evaluate the candidates and, with wisdom, cast our vote.
It will be no surprise, therefore, that when I first went to University I majored in Political Science. Like others who enter institutions of higher learning full of bright-eyed eagerness, my enthusiasm was quickly dampened. I soon discovered that there were many people who couldn’t care less about exercising their democratic rights. And even if they did vote, they put their “X” against a name they vaguely recognized, or chose anyone that their father was opposed to, or like a multiple choice test in Biology, they voted for whoever was on Line 3.
In my darker moments, I think that’s why we have the governments we do. We get what we deserve. If we ask for so little, why should we be surprised at the leaders we have? But most of the time, and especially when an election is drawing near, I am full of enthusiasm for the possibilities.
We live in an amazing country. We are educated, freedom-loving, and moral people. This is another opportunity for us to be heard. Who wouldn’t vote?
The upcoming election in the Crowsnest Pass is too important for the future of our community for people not to be heard. The last few years have been stressful, confusing, and frustrating. There is enough drama and negativity in the world without the place we call home being torn apart by arrogance, intimidation and incompetence. Our small corner of the globe should be a place that sustains and nurtures us.
And that’s why, for this election in particular, we need to be more present than we have ever been in. By “present”, I mean informed, curious, analytical, and clear-sighted. We need to evaluate closely the candidates’ platforms. It doesn’t matter who they are related to, it matters what they believe in. It doesn’t matter what they say they have done, it matters what they have accomplished. It doesn’t matter how educated they are, it matters how they’ve used their life experience to bring people together.
Leadership is not something that those in power confer upon themselves. It is our gift to give. Those who vote, who care for their community, who carefully and with reflection put their mark on the ballot are my heroes. See you on October 21st.