LTE: Why you should vote

Why should I vote? I’m just one person and my vote won’t change a thing. The same people get elected by the same voters and nothing really ever changes. Even if new people get elected the results are still the same.

I have heard this many times before and I`ve even thought that myself occasionally. By not voting you guarantee that nothing indeed will change because you are not part of the process. With instantaneous access to social media information sources people today have one of the best – and easiest – ways to become informed about the issues and the candidates.

People that I like to call “keyboard athletes” are quick to furnish snide and vitriolic remarks all from the safety of their anonymity. Think of what these same people could accomplish if they banded together as one voice to be heard by all. That is what voting is all about. I recently read an annual report that began with a statement that the group’s overall philosophy was: “Let us be partners and use one mind”. This type of teamwork and positive thinking with a common objective is what can – and will – make a difference. I witnessed this when I saw a group of tenants at 540 Adolphus band together to publicize their complaint and get their issue resolved. The squeaky wheel does indeed often get the grease!

If you truly love your community and want to make a difference, become an informed voter, encourage other citizens to do the same and then VOTE!

Once you have cast your ballot you will say: “I’ve done my civic duty, glad that’s over with”, but it is really only just the beginning. Once the eleven voices that will represent our City have been selected, our true work as citizens begins. Remember what the elected representatives pledged to do for our community and hold them to it, because they have been accorded an awesome responsibility. Many will say that politicians are not held accountable or only held accountable at election time. I believe that they should be held accountable every day of their four year term. How do you do this? By ensuring that you continue to voice your concerns, comments and views in a civil and democratic manner. If one voice doesn’t work, then make it ten, or fifty or a hundred. Ongoing accountability is everyone’s responsibility.

On October 27th the initial task will be complete and then the real work for all of the stakeholders of our community will truly begin!

Thank you
Michael O’Neil
Candidate for Cornwall City Council

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