I remember the first time I got to vote in a serious election. I was in my first year of college, and Canada was gearing up to elect a new Prime Minister or go with the incumbent. Sure I voted for NHL All-Star Teams in the past, and less impactful votes. But the All-Star thing was easy, just simply select which ever Montreal Canadians player was on the ballot and check of their name. There was no real thought put behind the selection.
But the ’06 federal election was different.
Unfortunately it wasn’t the glamorous affair I was expecting. It was just an empty room set up in my dorm, with an old desk and even older lady sitting behind it with a ballot box. But it felt good. It felt like I was actually doing something good for our country. And because I voted, I earned the right to complain if my chosen candidate didn’t end up winning!
While the saying is true, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” there is a bigger lesson involved in your first time voting. And that is the right to vote.
Voting gives you a power and a voice. It provides equal opportunity and a democratic way of deciding on major issues.
It is not something to take for granted either. It’s a privilege to be given the right to vote. Not everyone has the same advantages and a say in the issue at hand.
These were all things I learned when I first stepped into the voting booth (or at least that’s what it was marketed as).
What were your experiences like in voting in your first “serious” election? Why is the right to vote important for you? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does my vote really matter?
Yes. Of course it does. It’s true that in a larger election, the election is probably not going to be decided by one vote. But if the. The same thing for eating a hot dog or chocolate bar. One is probably not going to make a difference, but enough of them are going to have an impact. A negative impact in the food analogy, but a positive one if you get enough people out to vote.