Election day is coming quickly. While apathy may have set in with our 4th election in 7 years, I’m still doing my best to try and instill the habit of voting in my son.
Zacharie has been “lucky,” if you will. With so many minority governments in succession, he’s been to the ballot box more than I ever did when I grew up.
I became politically aware in the late 70s, the era of Trudeaumania. Ask me the worst day of my life and I’ll tell you of a day in May 1980 when I went to bed crying, terrified I would wake up the next morning and my grandparents would live in a foreign country.
So the political process stuck with me, and I’m trying to do the same for my son.
I didnt have a voters card when I went to the polling station. I just brought some picture ID with a bill that had my name and address. They wrote my name down on the voter registry, I filled out a form and swore that I was a Canadian citizen and wouldnt vote anywhere else. That’s it. I just said “Yeah, I’m legal” and I was good to go.
No background check, no fingerprint. I just said “I want to vote” and they let me.
As an aside, filling out the form was frustrating. In this keyboard era, I’m getting more and more pained when I have to put pen to paper. My penmanship is failing, I cramp quickly when I have to write and I’m sure someone will eventually have to type my personal info into a database – so why not skip the paper and just let me type it in right off the hop?
Regardless, I voted today. Living in Calgary means my riding is a “guarantee” for the Conservatives. My MP didnt attend any of the candidate forums, there are few signs in the riding jostling for views. In nearly 40 years only Conservative or Reform candidates have won in Calgary (which puzzles me because our Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, was elected on a common sense approach that featured none of the “talking points” type approach coming from Ottawa).
My vote likely “won’t matter,” the incumbent will win whether I offer him support or oppose him – but still I crossed my X on the paper next to my candidate of choice. I brought my sons with me to, once again, create the habit in them that voting is something you “do” – like brushing your teeth.
It doesnt matter who you support, it matters that you’re counted. So just vote – and bring your kids with you.