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April 22, 2007

Democracy Soapbox

PeoplelogoI posted these comments in response to Andrea's excellent post about working for environmental change.

DEMOCRACY IS A RESPONSIBILITY. We have a lot to lose in the current climate (no pun intended). Do your homework on all the issues that matter to you. Don't be a passive voter who gets swayed by sound-bytes and newspaper headlines and campaign attack ads. Find out for yourself what each candidate/party stands for and what they can reasonably deliver, given his/her personal track-record and the party's track-record.

Because we have to use our one vote to vote for both the party and the candidate in Canada, you may have to balance out your faith in the local candidate vs. the national party (e.g., if you'd give the local candidate an A+ and that candidate's national party a B-, for example).

Make your vote really count because other people who have particular agendas to promote have been busy rallying their troops for a long time and you may not discover until after election day which agendas are being promoted and by whom. Some people have a vested interest in promoting an anti-environment agenda (the same people who have pooh-poohed climate change for a very long time: do some research and you'll be surprised to find out that many of those people have become environmental chameleons, speaking the language of environmental change because it's now in their political interest to do so, but they may still not necessarily be prepared to truly walk the walk).

Ditto for any other issue that matters to you. Realize that if you aren't finding out which candidates/parties will best respresent your views and interests, you risk being sweet-talked into voting for the best talker (or the best financed candidate) rather than the candidate of principle who actually stands for something.


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