Vote as if your future is at stake

Now it comes down to you, in the polling booth on Oct. 19.

Vote as if your future is at stake

At the Chronicle we decided right from the start to go all out, covering the federal election; now it  comes down to you, in the polling booth on Oct. 19.

No doubt some have got tired of the long campaign, and that’s understandable. But there’s something to be said for staying power – not only from the politician’s side of the podium, but from the audience’s as well.

What have we learned?

Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford have a tremendous group of candidates, running for parties that go from far right to far left on the political spectrum.

Most of us already know how we’re going to vote (although there is a sizeable block of undecided voters in both ridings), and many had their minds made up before the writ was even dropped, still there’s been something to learn from each point on the political compass.

It’s long been fashionable to judge politicians harshly and cynically, to treat them even more contemptibly than journalists get treated in some circles. But when you follow a campaign, and put together the elements of the individual platforms, you begin to understand – even if you disagree – that these people stand for something.

That’s what democracy is about: accommodating different points of view in a way that allows everyone to accept the outcome as fairly achieved, even if it’s not what everyone voted for.

The system is far from perfect. There’s growing impatience with the perpetuation of a first-past-the-post, zero-sum game where one party can take all by dint of a ‘plurality’, and with the excessively partisan and confrontational form of government that leads to.

But the only way forward is by using the system we’ve got. So whatever your political persuasion, exercise your democratic right. Vote on Oct. 19, and between now and then take some time to consider who you’re voting for, and why.