In less than two months, voters across Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, and the country, will head to the ballot box to decide the course of the next four years for Canada.
Over the upcoming campaign, political parties and their leaders will inundate voters with carefully-crafted national messages to lure you to vote for them. Locally, each party candidate will toe the party line, but should also address issues here in SDSG. However what are those key issues? What issues are important to you?
Four years with our Member of Parliament in the Opposition has resulted in less government funding for projects in this riding. Funding from the federal government for the Morrisburg Street-Scape project is still awaiting approval here: it has already been approved by the province. Electing an MP who’s a member of the governing party could be the best way to cast your vote. The dilemma is – do you vote for a candidate, or for a party?
Perhaps a particular issue is of more importance to you like health care funding and a pharmacare strategy. Perhaps you worry about the perils of climate change.
Canada’s financial situation is uncertain with rising debt and a higher than promised annual deficit. Is keeping our financial house in order important to you?
Integrity in government is another issue that is battered about by the pundits: specifically SNC Lavelin and the resignations of two female cabinet ministers of the Trudeau government. But do you like other party leaders’ views on a number of social issues?
Are you happy with the choices you face on the ballot?
That’s a lot of questions. But consider. Maybe that’s the point of an election. Citizens need to ask and the politicians need to answer, and to be held to account. An election is best held when the electorate is informed. The two months ahead is the time to ask questions – because you may not get to ask them again for four years.
If a candidate knocks on your door this election season, what is your issue? Ask away, and really listen to hear the response. Remember that the bottom-line consequence of an uninformed electorate, is you get the government that you deserve.
Perhaps our southern neighbours have learned that lesson all-too-well.