Go vote

The other day, I used CBC’s Vote Compass to see which Canadian political party I’m most compatible with.

To my surprise, I was told that my views were most similar to those of the Greens, a party I hadn’t really considered voting for before.

Other people I’ve talked to were given similarly surprising results after completing the 30-question survey.

Before using the Vote Compass, I thought it would be a fun little activity with no bearing on how I would actually vote.

Seeing the results, however, caused me to reflect on the phenomenon of people supporting politicians whose politics they don’t necessarily agree with.

While this is intentional for some—like those who would rather support the NDP or Green Party but vote for the Liberals so as not to split the left vote—I fear that many people simply aren’t all that informed.

I have many friends who could easily name which party they’re going to vote for in the upcoming election, but who probably couldn’t explain why they plan on voting for that party.

This phenomenon certainly isn’t limited to which politician people will vote for. In high school, for instance, I knew that I was pro-choice, but I probably couldn’t have articulated why that was. Since then, I’ve become a lot more informed, and my position is one firmly based in knowledge.

I suppose it’s understandable that young people—busy with school, work and other commitments—would simply support the party or politician their parents or friends support, but with so much information available online it’s hardly difficult to get informed.

Apathy is also understandable if one considers how little their individual vote actually matters among the millions of other votes that are cast.

But at a time when people all over the world are in the pursuit of their right to be “just one vote,” it’s something that we should perhaps value more than we do.

I’m not trying to get all moralistic on you; we’ve all been told enough times in elementary school that people died for our right to vote. What I’m asking here is not for people to vote, it’s to be informed when they do.

Learning new things about yourself and what you believe can be a wonderful, exciting experience.

Don’t let laziness or apathy stand in the way of experiencing this for yourself.

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