[October 9, 2019] Democracy is an amazing thing when it truly works. When we use our voices at the polling station to demand action from our governments and to hold our elected officials accountable for their promises, that’s when the positive changes we want to see in our communities and country happen.
But for a democracy to work we need a few simple things:
As voters we need to know what’s important to us. We all have a responsibility to take the time to contemplate and understand the issues that matter to us not only as individuals, but to our families, our country and the world – because the government we elect will impact all of our lives today and in generations to come.
We must be ready to challenge the candidates to show us how they are going to make our priorities a reality.
Don’t let this election become a time for empty promises. When someone comes knocking at your door, canvassing for your vote, be ready – ask them the tough questions and make them be specific with their answers.
It’s your opportunity to dig a bit deeper into each party’s platform and ask some difficult questions to inform your decision – remember, an informed voter holds immense power. It’s YOUR way to take ownership in how YOUR government will work for YOU.
Never forget that your vote is important to candidates and absolutely makes a difference. So, make it count, and hold the candidates accountable on Election Day, and in the weeks, months and years that follow – there’s a reason we say they must “earn” your vote. So, let’s make them earn it.
And when you show up at the polling station, make sure you translate your priorities into action.
The change you want to see will never happen if you don’t choose a government that has a commitment and most importantly, a real, achievable plan to turn what you stand for into a reality. If promises never translate into action, democracy isn’t working.
If a national pharmacare plan is something you believe in, make sure the party you vote for stands for this too – and not just in principle. Make sure they have a plan and commitment to follow through.
If climate change is an issue you want to see concrete action on, choose a government that has a plan that will turn talk, debate and endless rhetoric into real, tangible action.
If violence against health workers or action on mental health and addictions are important to you, ask your candidates how they are going to tackle these issues and when they are going to act – because timelines are important. And then choose the government that will get the things that matter to you done.
Having a say in what happens next in our country is really up to all of us. At the end of the day the most important thing we can all do in our democracy is show up at our polling stations and exercise our right to vote.
Tracy Zambory, RN