Mark a ballot

Canadians must exercise their democratic rights on Oct. 19

With only four days until most of us show up at our polling stations (Oct. 19 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), it still appears to be a fairly tight race between the Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties to see which one forms the next federal government.

Across Canada, there appears to be a lot more interest in this election campaign than in past federal elections.

Many people say this election being pivotal because they believe the outcome will affect democracy, transparency and how Canadians are going to be represented in the House of Commons in the future.

When it’s all boiled down, the deciding factor in how ballots are cast is whether the electorate wants to see change with a new party or they want to stay the course with the current government.

Advance polls for the 42nd general federal election took place across the country on Oct. 9 through Oct. 12.

Across the nation, polling stations were extremely busy – some voters had to wait in long lineups to mark their ballots.

Elections Canada reported some 3.6 million Canadians took advantage of the advance polls to cast their votes – a whopping increase of 71 per cent more than the federal election in 2011.

These numbers bode well for current state of health of democracy in our country.

Obviously, Canadians want to have their say in the outcome of this federal election.

And they’re willing to stand in line to mark their ballots for the people, or the parties, they want to represent them in Ottawa.

While we don’t know if they voted to stay the course or they wanted change, we do know they are very interested in our country’s future.

The interest in this election is a product of a few things: all of the party leaders are strong, knowledgable and charismatic; a lot of national policies have been debated; for the most part the election promises have been costed out (but with few details about where the money is coming from); and the media has done a great job of covering the issues, the platforms and the scandals throughout the 78-day election campaign.

Closer to home, the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Riding is represented by four capable candidates.

They have performed well during public appearances, did their door knocking and provided some good answers to questions that 100 Mile House Free Press readers have put to them in recent editions.

Folks should read the candidates’ answers, which appeared in today’s and the Oct. 8 editions of the Free Press before heading out to the polls on Monday (Oct. 19).

Whether you are voting for a specific candidate or for a specific political party, we urge our readers to get all of the information they can, make an informed decision, head out to the polling stations in their communities and mark their ballots accordingly.

100 Mile House Free Press