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The Democratic Process

As the entire world knows, the USA is only a handful of days away from having the Presidential Election. It has been a bitter fight between John Kerry and George W. Bush, a war of words and photo ops going back some months, even before the official start of the campaigns.

In recent years the USA has been embroiled in two wars, both with the attempt of spreading democracy and freedom throughout the world. Many soldiers put their lives on the line every day to ensure that Afghani’s and Iraqi’s have the chance to place their mark on a small slip of paper and to choose who will run their country for the next term.

This is not an uncommon occurrence. Most of the free countries in the world had to face a war at one time or another to secure their own democracy, including the United States, Britain, and even Canada (under Britain), had some battles with the US in the early years.

As time passes on we tend to remember the victors of wars, and tend to forget the reason the wars were started in the first place. In the end, if you live in a free country and have the right to vote, it is because you were victorious in a war for your own freedom, either as aggressor, or as a defender of your nation.

It was the soldier, who loved his or her country so much, that they put their own life at risk to give you the right to make that mark. Do you feel your vote is worth dying for? People in many countries in the world today literally risk their lives to make it to the polling station. Do you give your vote the respect it deserves?

Canada held an election in June of this year. Only 60.5% of eligible voters turned out the lowest turnout ever. In the 2000 US election, probably the most hotly contested election in US history, only 51% of eligible voters made it to the polls.

It seems to me that that shows an incredible amount of disrespect to the men and women who died for your right to vote.

Rather than standing on my soapbox and telling you I think you should vote for the Dems or Republicans, I am going to simply ask one thing of you. Vote. Experience the pride a free nation has in determining its leader, not by revolution or revolt, but by peacefully gathering and making a mark on a piece of paper. If your party wins you can say that you made it happen. If you lose you have the right to bitch about it – after all, you did all you could.

And then, when you get home from the polling station, send a quick note to the soldiers out there, risking life and limb to ensure you, and others, have the right to do it all over again in a few years.

You can contact the soldiers at:

USA: http://www.operationdearabby.net
CAN: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/community/messageboard/index_e.asp

Get off your ass and get to a polling station. Appreciate the hard fought rights you have, don’t throw them away as if they mean nothing.