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The importance of the vote

An editorial on importance of voting
Election canada
Why vote?

We're now less than two weeks away from the voting day in the federal election that only Justin Trudeau and his supporters really wanted. 

Canadians will go to the polls on Sept. 20, although advanced polls will start in just a couple of days. While interest in the election has been lagging, since we've had so many other issues to preoccupy our attention, ranging from summer fun to drought to Afghanistan to the fourth wave of COVID-19, the campaign has gone by pretty quickly, even if nobody wanted this election.

It'll be interesting to see the voter turnout in this election. 

Other pandemic-era elections, including the one in Saskatchewan last year, saw a higher number of people opting for the advance polls and submitting mail-in ballots. But overall voter turnout for those elections was lower.

Advance polls have become a growing trend in the past few federal elections, and with the pandemic and some people's desire to avoid the large crowds of election day, advanced polls will likely be more popular than ever.

As for mail-in ballots, the percentage of votes might not be as high as what we saw last year but expect to see some submitted.

However, the bulk of people will likely still vote on election day itself. 

And regardless of whether it's advanced polls, election day or mail-in ballots, it's important for you to vote.

We're not going to tell you who to vote for. That's not our job. The concept of newspaper endorsements is a tired idea that should have been retired decades ago. 

We don't have an abundance of options in Souris-Moose Mountain. Incumbent MP Robert Kitchen of the Conservative Party has been challenged by Javin Ames-Sinclair of the Liberal Party, Hannah Duerr of the New Democratic Party, Greg Douglas of the Maverick Party and Diane Neufeld of the People's Party of Canada.

But we've seen minimal involvement by Ames-Sinclair and Duerr.

One of the recurring complaints that we've heard more than ever in this election is the lack of fair representation for the west. People in Saskatchewan are miffed that there are 14 seats in Saskatchewan and well over 100 for Ontario.

Granted, Saskatchewan has more seats per capita than Ontario does, but the point of many remains the same: it's time to give more power to the west, at the expense of the east.

Given the number of seats in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick compared to their population, perhaps our frustration is being channelled towards the wrong location.

Regardless, people in the west are miffed to the degree that they haven't been before, and they're calling for change. But if you're expecting Saskatchewan to get a more disproportionate number of seats, keep dreaming.

Despite the reasons that people might have for not voting, it's imperative to vote. One of the really positive developments that we saw in the last federal election is that more than 80 per cent of those eligible in Souris-Moose Mountain took the time to vote.

Granted, it was a landslide victory, but people cared enough locally to take the time to vote.

So please do your research. Take the time to learn about the parties, their platforms and their leaders, and whether the local candidate can think independently and has a genuine concern for our riding, or if that person is just a ballot filler for a party looking to have a candidate in all 338 ridings.

Attend or watch the candidates' forum offered by the Estevan Chamber of Commerce. And listen to what the candidates are saying and how they're saying it. If a candidate is unable to attend, perhaps that means they aren't the right person for this job.

Despite its flaws, Canada remains an incredible place to live. And part of what makes it great is democracy.

Even if we don't want this election, it's happening. So please take the time to vote.

If you're supportive of the work that the Liberals have done in the last six years, including 1 1/2 in the midst of a pandemic, then express that support with your vote.

If you don't agree with it, then send a vote to another candidate or another party.

And if you're like so many out there, and ticked off about the election campaign, then send a message with your vote on or before Sept. 20.

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