By Darren Lum
Maybe it’s an exaggeration to believe voting is pivotal to the next four years, but I wonder.
Our participation in democracy depends upon the votes we cast. It requires our attention. I believe it’s our duty to vote, which is the very least we can do. Municipal government creates policies and shape the community we live in and work to represent us at the provincial level raising awareness about the issues that affect us. We need the passionate, the informed and the dedicated fighting for us. We need them to lead us. We need to choose.
Every four years (and sometimes sooner) we’re given the privilege to decide our government with our choice. This applies to all levels, which include municipal, provincial and federal. This time around it’s the municipal level, which has the influence over some of the most influential decisions in our lives right here in our respective towns of Haliburton County.
One vote doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but if you see news footage of countries where voting is far from established, the lines to vote are stunningly long. People sometimes brave persecution, physical threats and endure the extreme elements such as heat or frigid temperatures during long waits to vote.
Living in our bubbles of First World existence leaves us insulated to how important democracy is sometimes, and how much it depends on our participation. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s ours and it’s better than not having any choice.
Look at China now. Recently, their leader Xi Jinping, 69, is potentially moving towards being in power for the rest of his life. His first step is to assume another five-year term to break the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “seven up, eight down” guideline.
This states Communist Party officials can only be promoted up to 67 and should retire at 68. If this happens he will serve his third term. Technically, this might not be the first time, but it’s moving to a return to a leadership similar to when Mao ruled the country decades before. Xi is currently supreme leader and also holds the top three roles in the CCP as general secretary of the party, president of China and commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army. As much as some people in our country believe we’re run by a dictatorship and want to make it public they hate Justin Trudeau, I’m pretty certain our prime minister won’t be in power for the rest of his life.
Along the same lines of this perception is how it’s a slippery slope when politicians question the very system our country operates within. Thankfully, the stoking of the fire of incredulity when it comes to our system of government hasn’t crept into municipal politics. We have enough problems with voter indifference and apathy we don’t need more reason for the public to not vote.
Let’s give our time to vote. Not just for democracy, but the men and woman who have shown their commitment to run as a candidate for their respective wards and positions, and for each other in the upcoming municipal and school board election. Our community deserves to have a government we need and not one we end up with because of the few who put forth the effort to vote.
Step up for democracy. Step up for the candidates. Step up for each other and we can move forward to a brighter future that serves the greatest number.
For Dysart et al voters, if you haven’t received your Voter Information Letter contact the township at 705-457-1740 ext. 667. Dysart offers in-person voting at town hall. Contact Dysart for details.
For Highlands East voters, if you have not received a Voters Information Letter, contact the township at 705-448-2981.