Last night as Joe and I watched the coverage of the municipal election here in Ottawa (on TV on Rogers community, who actually started their coverage before results came out, on the Apt. 613/Mediastyle liveblog, and on Twitter with the hashtag #ottvote) and we watched the percentages climb and fall, one number came out: 30 per cent.
I don’t know where it came from, but there were a couple of people on Twitter who proclaimed that voter turnout was going to end up somewhere around 27-30 per cent. This morning I woke up to the news that it’s actually going to be closer to 44 per cent.
I cannot express how upset I am that I was happy to see that the number had gone up to 44 per cent.
In my mind there is no excuse for not voting. Voting is not a decision that you make, voting is your civic duty – In a lot of cases voting is your only chance to express your opinion about what is going on in government. If you don’t like the candidates you have to choose from, spoil your ballot. In my opinion, voting is the least you can do.
They say if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about the decisions government makes. That, I think, is the least of it. If you don’t vote, then you have no say whatsoever. Why would you ever give up your voice? Why would you choose not to speak the one time in four years that you are guaranteed to have a say?
I call out anyone who has voice an opinion on the Lansdowne project who didn’t vote. I call out anyone who complained about transit in the last four years who didn’t vote. I call out anyone who pays property taxes in the City of Ottawa who did not vote. I can’t believe that you would have nothing to say now.