why is it important to vote

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ballot-296577_640Voting gives citizens the right to choose leaders

Comes November, 2016, American voters will be actualizing their right to elect their own heads of state. New voters and those who changed their residences since last election are also required to register.

Suffrage is more than just the right to vote:

Suffrage is not only the legal right to vote, but also to decide on practical question that is put to a vote for the citizens. In most democracies, eligible voters opt through the ballots their representatives. The simple requirements for federal election voting eligibility are: (1) over eighteen (18) years of age; and (2) a U.S. citizen, by either birth or the naturalization process. Incarcerated people lost their right to vote. However, in most cases, qualifying citizens to vote depends on the government’s decision, but many democracies no longer consider voting based on sex or race.

Voting is the cornerstone of a democracy but sadly far too few people vote.

Only about 68% of voting age Americans had registered to vote. This is a very discouraging figure compared to100% of Argentineans; 97% of Brits, 93% of Canadians or the 77% of South Africans. According to the Brennan Center, America’s job of registering voters is very poor as the burden of registering are placed largely at the shoulders of voters themselves.

You should vote for the following reasons:

1. Living in a democracy endows its citizens this fundamental right that is protected by the Constitution.

2. Voting gives the Government legitimacy that means that they have the people’s support to make decisions, to constitute laws and policies that govern how we live together.

3. While democracy is much more than casting ballots every five years, voting is a powerful medium to remind governments and politicians of their responsibilities and duties to their constituents. In other words, every vote counts.

4. Voting empowers the citizens to choose who will run the government. It is the best option to change officers that suit the elector’s views. 

5. Your elected representatives will be your alter-ego in the House to forge helpful laws and in fight important issues.

6. A well-represented government is the result when all qualified voters cast their ballots. It is important in order to create laws that represent the views of the people. Low voter turnouts may call into question this democratic legitimacy.

7. Compared to other forms of political participation, voting does not require much effort ‘“ in other words, it is one of the easiest ways to have a say on how you are governed.

You are a smart voter if:

A real smart voter does not rush heads on in choosing a candidate. He takes time to judge a candidate.

1. Decide on what kind of candidate you are looking for. Evaluate the candidates by the position they take on issues and his leadership qualities and experience.

2. Discover more about the candidates. Collect and gather a “library” of information about the candidates from varied sources available.

3. Gauge the candidates’ stands on issues by reviewing collected materials on where he stands regarding controversial issues. If they are compatible to yours, then he is your candidate.

4. Learn about his leadership skills as well as his traits, honesty, ability to act under pressure if elected to office. Get feed-backs from his campaigns by reviewing his campaign materials.

5. Listen and observe how other people view the candidate as their opinions can help to clarify your own views including you own informed judgments.

Voters nowadays have all kinds of devices to become informed. Present candidates believed that the ordinary voter has a short term memory of the promises they made on the platform. But thanks to the existence of the press and the popularity of social media, voters enjoy a daily fare of news about politicians. They can participate in fora about the candidates they intend to be their representatives in House. They can witness debates between candidates regarding their platforms and plan for the country.

Voting is a God-given right. Your forefathers offered their blood, sweat and tears just for you to enjoy this right. This is the reason why it is important for you to vote.

Author: Lourdes Cedeno

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One Response

  1. Iwan

    December 5, 2014 6:58 am

    I live at Metrotown, and one of the many reasons I have ceoshn to be a candidate for city council on a Green slate is to oppose supplemental density bonuses in Burnaby’s four town centers. In December 2010 council approved s density bonuses based on a staff report recommendation. There was no call from the community asking for such an amendment. It was clearly developer driven. As a result, we are seeing the construction of two towers in Metrotown that are to be 46-47 storeys-about 17 storeys taller than anything else in the city. There is a proposal for a tower at Station Square to be 58 storeys! It is my opinion that these residential towers will lead to excess congestion and strain on existing amenities. It sounds to me like you are facing a similar issue in Univercity. The Greens want to see a return to the bylaw rules that existed prior to 2010 which had governed density bonusing since 1996. If elected, we would urge council to take similar actions atop Burnaby mountain if indeed that was the desire of the residents that live in that community. I feel such a decision that fundamentally alters a community needs to be ratified through a neighbourhood referendum. Greens are not opposed to densification, but neighbourhoods need to be consulted first and given an opportunity to vote on changes. Use your vote on November 19th to send a message to your City Government.Rick McGowan,Burnaby Municipal Green Party


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