With the Liberals winning their second straight majority to lead the province of Nova Scotia, many people were upset.
But it seems people were more upset by the fact that almost half the Nova Scotians who have the ability and right to vote chose not to.
It was an embarrassment, really.
Voter turnout for the election on May 30 was around 53 per cent, down more than five per cent from the previous year. That really shouldn’t be the case. Getting out to the polling station is easy. There are so many advance polls to get to, instead of waiting for that very last day. If there are people lined up, don’t fret – that’s a good sign and they usually are moving pretty quickly.
Was it because they didn’t know there was an election going on? I doubt it, but it could happen.
More so, people didn’t cast their ballot because those running in their riding left little to be desired. Many people didn’t know their candidates or why they were offering to represent their constituents. Did they take the chance to get to know them and what they stood for? Perhaps, but perhaps not.
If they did, why didn’t they make it out to the polls? If they didn’t, why not?
Voting is a responsibility and with that responsibility comes informing yourself about the task at hand.
Are people not engaged? Do people not care? How do we get them more involved?
Every year, students are becoming more and more engaged in politics, including at their own level. If interest can be aroused during their teenaged years, they’ll be more apt to vote when they’re of age. It’s their civic duty. They’re already asking questions. Many wish the voting age would be lowered from 19 to even 16. If they want to vote, why don’t adults?
Some people will say they like the candidate, but not the candidate’s party leader. In many places, people vote for the candidate and candidate alone, while not thinking of the party at all. Others vote the way their parents and their grandparents voted, because that’s how they grew up.
Most of those who run in an election do so because they really do want to help better their constituencies. They are honest and hard-working, often with genuine goals. Their ridings and their constituents matter to them and they will push until they can see change.
Some ridings throughout the province had clear winners not long after results started to roll in. In others, the winning candidate came out on top by a very, very slim margin.
By not voting in an election, no matter at what level, it signifies a lack of caring. The old adage of ‘actions speak louder than words’ is true, and in this case, that action was not voting.
What would have spoken even louder to those in the legislature, and those thinking of running in the future, would have been getting out to vote and spoiling your ballot.
One can assume by not voting you’re saying there was no one who deserved your ballot. But also with that is the fact you couldn’t bother to vote anyway.
By spoiling a ballot, you’re telling those leaders you have a say. You wanted to give someone your vote, but there wasn’t anyone worthy of that vote. You’re putting the time and effort into spoiling that ballot. It may not feel like voting would make a difference, but what would happen if 100 per cent of eligible voters voted, with half the total ballots not able to be counted?
Wouldn’t that send a stronger message?