Federal elections are important, yet if previous trends continue, a significant number of eligible voters will not show up at the polls.
In the 2011 federal election, voter turnout across Canada was 61.1 per cent. Nearly 10 million eligible voters did not cast ballots.
In the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla, which included Summerland, voter turnout was 62.69 per cent.
If each of the 31,758 eligible voters who did not vote had cast their ballots, the outcome could have been different.
It’s important to vote in this election, but it’s even more important to cast an informed vote, in the best interests of the riding and the country.
Under Canada’s electoral system, voters choose the candidate who will represent their riding.
The candidate’s party affiliation also affects the balance of power in the House of Commons. As a result, a vote for a local candidate is also an endorsement for a specific party.
Because of this, it is important for voters to know about their local candidates and about the party platforms and leaders.
This information must be current, since the direction of any of the federal parties today might not be exactly the same as a decade ago.
Each political party has information available to voters about itself, its leaders and its platform.
In the weeks leading up to this election, the Summerland Review has presented information about the four candidates in this riding, who they are and how they would face the task of representing the people of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.
Take time to review this information. Take time to learn about each of the candidates and each of the parties, as they are at present, before casting your vote.
The outcome of this election and the direction of this country in the years to come will depend on individuals taking the time to vote carefully and responsibly.