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Voting is your right, your privilege and your responsibility

Mary Thomas, Associate Editor, ATB, Jan 2019, Edmonton

This week, citizens of AB will make a choice about who should govern the affairs of our province for the next four years. A ritual I have participated in with religious regularity since I came of voting age with a hiatus of 10 years since I moved to Canada. It has been easy to make a decision about who to vote for. Since, families were partisan and together every member voted for a party they aligned with.

But choosing who to vote for has never been as difficult as it is today. While all sorts of parties are punting themselves as the best choice, finding leaders and policies worthy of my vote has never been this tough.

The economy is not showing signs of recovery and while anybody can ride a wave, it is hard to saddle a trough. Whoever is elected will have to clearly have policies to revive Alberta’s ailing economy and put money into people’s pockets so they can survive rather than pay corporates and expect it to trickle down. How are we dealing with pressing issues: economic climate, climate change, education and health care? Who can deliver the best for the people in 4 years? Who will do the least damage? Who is not smearing others and resting on their laurels? Who can really moving the needle or has the reputation to show? Take time to go to forums, read, analyse and make a logical decision.

If you do this and vote, together we can all reap the dividends. But if you chose not to, someone clueless might take the seat and tell you what’s good for you. This is the sad fallout of low voter turnout. Let’s not allow this to happen and help our friends who are standing to fight a good fight.

Voting is a citizen’s civic responsibility and is also your opportunity to make your voice heard. It is every Albertans’ chance to shape the type of government they want or not. Many have fought and died so that we can have the right to vote. As responsible citizens, we should foster that sense of civic duty.

It’s essential that all of us turn out to vote. Every vote is a building block in our democracy. The more people who vote, the stronger our system of government becomes. As a province, we should and can do much better.

Advance voting has started, please go out and vote and help people who have no transportation so they can too. All organisations are expected to allow workers to take time to vote. So, take time to vote, because each vote counts to building a strong, resilient powerhouse province that we’re used to being for the rest of the country. Let’s use this opportunity to show how much we love our province, let’s be the strength of our government and the responsible citizens that will take Alberta into the new dawn.

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