OUR VIEW: Know the issues, make your choice

We say: There’s no shortage of ways to get to know candidates

With less than three weeks to go till the federal election, it’s high time that voters – if they haven’t already – give some serious thought to who they want to lead the country forward for the next four years.

Locally, there will be four names on the ballot: Rachel Blaney (NDP); Brenda Sayers (Green Party); Peter Schwarzhoff (Liberal Party); and Laura Smith (Conservative Party).

Most of the names will be familiar to those who have called the North Island home for any length of time and pay attention to current events.

But name recognition alone is not enough to base a vote on.

What will these candidates do for the community should they win a seat on Oct. 19? How knowledgeable are they on issues that matter? How strongly will they make our community’s voice heard in Ottawa? Which of them best represents what you see as the best direction, locally and nationally?

There are no shortage of ways to get to know the issues, and where each candidate stands on them: go to debates, visit campaign offices, call or email the candidates directly or simply stop them in the street and ask. If they really want to represent you – as they insist they do – they will take the time to hear what’s important to you, and give their time to fully explain their positions and what’s driving them.

Candidates, too, have very limited time left to make their views known, to sell constituents on their abilities to have a positive influence on this community’s and Canada’s future, and bring the needs and wants of both to the forefront.

The bottom line is this: Oct. 19 isn’t just another day. It’s a day that will determine the country’s path forward for a significant length of time – a term in which much can happen, both positive and negative.

No doubt, there will be those unhappy with some or all of the decisions of those who are elected to effect change or stay the course. Many are unhappy with the electoral process altogether and have a jaundiced view of all politicians, regardless of party affiliations. But saying that a single vote doesn’t count is tantamount to saying that all votes don’t count – a position we don’t believe Canadians are ready to embrace.

The reality is that those who don’t vote will have no right to complain.

– Black Press