Freedom ain’t free

Yesterday, I went to vote in the advance polls for the May 2nd Canadian Federal Election. While at the polling station, one of the clerks recounted how she rejoices in seeing people come to vote at every election; exercising their right to have a say in the formation of their government. In many parts of the world, this is not an option.

The elderly clerk went on to describe a middle age man from a North African country who came to vote during the last election. As a newly minted Canadian citizen, it was the first time he had ever voted. With tears of joy in his eyes, he asked the election clerk to take a photo of him at the ballot box so that he might send it back to his brother in their home country.

While these stories are inspiring, far too many Canadians are apathetic about the election. At the last federal election, only 56% of people voted. It is hard to understand.〈=e


My friend recently took a taxi ride and asked the driver if he intended to vote. The driver, a man from Ethiopia, said “no”, saying he was mostly just concerned with having a job. My friend then asked if he had not come to Canada to escape an oppressive regime where voting was not an option. After a moment of thought, he proclaimed, “I never looked at it that way, you’re right, I think I will vote this time”. It’s as simple as that, just ask people to vote.

Freedom ain’t free. Vote.

Published on April 23, 2011