Eve of Tuesday 2015

This is the 9th annual Labour Day post.

New seasons are upon us on this Eve of Tuesday. Fall in the North, spring in the South, are almost here, and a new season of school starts up in many places around the world. More locally, hockey season cannot be far from many people’s minds – getting on the ice more is in my list of resolutions. Also forefront in the consciousness of Canada is election season.

While the other seasons turn with more regularity, the opportunity to influence the direction of our nation comes around more slowly. No matter how frustrated we may be with our own democracy’s level of efficiency and priorities at times, or how removed we may feel from the actual decision making processes – the importance of participating as an informed voter cannot be overstated. I am hoping particular election season allows me to continue building on three areas that I’ve been working on within myself lately, as an informed citizen, and a reflective professional: breadth of perspective, questioning, and Reconciliation.

Often we fill our social media feeds, our news feeds, and our daily conversations with writers, speakers, videos, friends, and colleagues that share similar perspectives to the ones we already hold. Seeking out opinions and information that one does not agree with can be challenging. Yet, attempting to understand other perspectives and the role they have in our communities and country is important to our future. This season I’ll continue trying to broaden the media, opinions, and beliefs I encounter.

Linked with breadth of perspective is the importance of asking questions. While it may be easier to direct difficult questions to people one disagrees with, it is just as important to make challenging inquiries of those that are like-minded. In turn, this can broaden perspectives, strengthen ideas, and help make communities stronger. Growth cannot occur without difficult questions.

Finally, as a new school year starts, and with an election only weeks away, Reconciliation is also at the front of my mind. While it does not appear as often as the economy, jobs, or foreign affairs in election coverage, I feel Reconciliation is a crucial topic, and have been trying to be more aware of it in my professional work. Hopefully I can continue to build on this in the months to come. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission held its closing events in Ottawa this year, May 31-June 3. Many years of hearings and testimony around Canada’s residential school system resulted in 94 recommendations. For more information on the Commission’s work you may want to visit the TRC website, or read, listen and watch media reports on the Closing Event (I recommend this one, both article and sound files, from As It Happens).

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is almost upon us, but October 19 will be forty days away – plenty of time to broaden perspectives, ask questions, and consider Reconciliation. Wherever you find yourself on Tuesday, or in the weeks and months ahead I hope you are able to try new things, and build on areas you also feel are important. All the best in the seasons ahead – be sure to vote!

Thank you – merci.
Take care,
À bientôt,
IR

Previous Labour Day Posts: (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Civic Elections 2011

Today, Saturday November 19, is civic election day in British Columbia. If you are a BC resident, you should be voting today, unless you have already voted in advance polls. Voter turn out at all levels, federal, provincial, and local, is getting worse and worse with each passing election, but civic elections consistently have abhorrently dismal participation at the polls. This always puzzles me, as these elections are kind of a big deal.

Today, British Columbians will vote for the people who run the local services that we depend upon, and who manage the institutions that are the foundation of our society. Today you have a say in who will run and manage your schools, your police department, your fire department, your public transit services, your parks, your recreation centres, your public arenas and pools, your water services, your transit services, your libraries, your traffic services. Today you will vote for the people who make front line decisions regarding property development and local public sector job creation. Plus, many cities and municipalities include referendum questions on civic election ballots, where you get to directly voice your opinion on local government decisions.

It is so simple to research the candidates in your area, what with the all internets and world webs nowadays – there is really no excuse!

If democracy is something you believe in, then you have a responsibility to be involved in it. It will take you 15 minutes, and cost you nothing. Polls are open from 8am to 8pm.

THANK YOU FOR VOTING!!

For more information about Local Government Elections in BC, including where you can vote, simply put in “Local Government Election” and the name of your city into a search engine.  You can also visit:
http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/electionconnection/ (this includes detailed information on all Metro Vancouver cities and municipalities if you scroll down).

VOTE!

Tomorrow, Monday May 2nd, is the day of Canada’s 41st federal election.

You should vote. Someone is going to represent you, personally, in Ottawa. Think about that, and go make a choice. Even if you just focus on one issue to help you decide: vote!

In the last federal election, on October 14 2008, Canadian voters had their worst turn-out ever, with only 58.8% of eligible citizens casting a ballot (1). Such a display is embarrassing. There really should be no need to go into the details of the price people pay in other areas of the world for the right to vote. We have an amazing nation, and each election is your chance to play a direct role in the future of Canada.

Please take the time to find out a little bit about the candidates in your riding. It is nearly a guarantee that the online version of your local community newspaper (which can be found with a search engine) will have interviews with each candidate. It is also incredibly easy to find each party’s platform online, and quickly jump to reading about the issues that are most important to you. Last time I made the assumption that everyone knew how to use a search engine, but I’ll go a little further this time in hopes that we can get a better voter turn-out. Please see the links below.

Take control, make a choice. Vote tomorrow!

In alphabetical order, here are links to the platforms of the four major national parties:

Conservative Party Platform
Green Party Platform

Liberal Party Platform
New Democratic Party Platform

If you did not receive a voter registration card, or for more information on the election, please visit Elections Canada’s website.

(1) http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=ele&dir=turn&document=index&lang=e

Vote Locally

You may very well be feeling oversatured by elections recently. However, the most pertinent election is today. The elected officials who have the say in the things that directly impact your life are decided upon today. You have the opportunity to have a say in those people who are in charge of your local taxes, schools, roads, recreation services, parks, housing, zoning, and host of other local issues. For information visit the Municipal Election website. They have links to all the municipalities. Check out a few sites, choose an issue or two, make a decision, and please vote.

Vote!

Make a choice. Someone is going to represent you, personally, in Ottawa. Think about that, and go make a choice. Even if you just focus on one issue to help you decide: vote!

Party platforms, and who is running in your riding can all be found on their websites. I’m going to make an assumption here, that you know how to use a search engine, so I will not give you links.

Vote!