Monday, May 02, 2011

It's Your Time to Choose

1916 - Manitoba becomes the first province in which women are granted the right to vote in provincial elections.

1917 - The "Wartime Elections Act" strips the right to vote off of all "enemy aliens" - those born in enemy countries that arrived in Canada after 1902.

1918 - Women gain full voting rights in federal elections.

1919 - Women gain the right to run for federal office.

1940 - Quebec becomes the last province to recognize a woman's right to vote.

1947 - Racial exclusions against Chinese and Indo-Canadians are lifted.

1948 - Racial exclusions against Japanese Canadians are lifted.

1955 - Religious exclusions are removed from election laws.

1960 - The right to vote is extended unconditionally to First Nations people (previously, they could only vote if they gave up their First Nations' status - this requirement was removed).

1970 - The voting age is lowered from 21 to 18.

1982 - The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all adult citizens the right to vote.

1988 - The Supreme Court of Canada rules that mentally ill citizens have the right to vote.

2000 - Legislation is introduced making it easier for people of no fixed address to vote.

Considering how hard it has been to earn the right to vote has been for so many people - does no one else find a 60% turnout a slap in the face to everyone who fought, scraped and clawed for the opportunity to take part in the decisions to run this country?

In the end, what matters is not simply who you vote for... but that you get out and vote in the first place.

To all of those who say they "don't have time", "can't be bothered", or "are too busy"... firstly, you should be ashamed, and secondly - your opinion has ceased to be relevant. Don't like it? If you haven't voted - then you have no voice. Keep your thoughts to yourself, and allow those of us who appreciate this right, this opportunity, and this country to make the decisions.

There's probably still time. Get out and vote, and tell me to shut my mouth.

Otherwise - zip it.


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