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Sun, Oct 19th - 6:28PM

The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition

October 19th 2008

The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition

Letter from the Editor

While we are saddened that Stephen Harper is still prime minister of Canada, we are overjoyed that he only won a minority government. Just barely. We came very close to seeing the Conservative Party win enough seats to turn back the clock on gay rights, the environment, arts funding, women's issues and a host of other things Harper's conservatives don't consider important enough to spend tax dollars on.

Technically, and this is an important point, gay married couples now pay more taxes than if they were simply single and living together. Thats more money in government coffers. Why would you want to reverse that?

Here's the thing however, and this is a mathematically oddity: Only 61% of Canadian adults over the age of 18 actually voted in the election this past Tuesday.

Of those who did vote the Conservatives got a mere 38%. For those of you who are good at math that means only 23.18% of potential voters actually voted for Stephen Harper's party. Certainly not a vote of confidence.

Part of the problem is young people who don't vote. Indeed quite a few adults don't vote either and its mindbogglingly difficult to comprehend why they don't bother. They either:

A. Don't care about politics.

B. Don't think it will do any good because some politicians are corrupt.

C. Don't think their 1 measly little vote will make much difference. Some MPs win their riding on just a few votes.

D. The politicians are talking about issues (ie. education, university spending & college loans) that don't speak to young people.

E. Think they're too busy, forget, figure the party they hate or like will win anyway, think its all rigged, etc.

F. Some or all of the above.

Years ago when I lived in Prince Edward Island I got into a huge argument with my mother about why I wasn't voting in a local township election. My reasons were: Its a township! I didn't know the candidates, I didn't know what they stood for and I didn't know any of the issues facing the municipality. Even now, living in Toronto, I have yet to vote during a mayor's election or for a member of city council. Same reasons. I simply didn't know enough to care about voting in it.

So could it be young people today think the same way about provincial and national politics? They simply don't know enough to want to vote in it? Ignorance creates apathy.

My answer is ignorance and apathy? Start watching the news and reading newspapers. Politics is like karma. If you don't learn about the issues and vote you get the leaders you deserve.

On November 4th the United States will make a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama. One would hope that people will actually vote in such a historic election in large numbers. If they don't then Americans will get the leader they deserve, not necessarily the one they like.

To paraphrase Mr. T: I pity the fool that doesn't vote.

Suzanne MacNevin
Editor of the Lilith eZine

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Sun, Oct 19th - 12:16AM

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