Editorial: The choice is simple: on Oct. 19, just vote

Don't ignore one of our most valuable privileges: the right to vote

With Thanksgiving now a pleasant memory for many of us, we ask you to take a moment to give thanks for one more thing: your right to vote, and to vote for the candidate that best reflects your values regardless of the party they represent.

Too many people in too many countries around the world do not have that same opportunity.

Sure, many voters were understandably frustrated at the long line-ups at the advance polls this past weekend, but the eagerness with which people were ready to spend a holiday weekend in an election line-up is heartening. For too long we’ve heard concerns of voter apathy reflected in reduced election turnouts.

While the cause of the increased number of voters is not necessarily clear – social media and a disgruntled electorate have likely played a part, for example – and we’ll have to wait and see whether those numbers are echoed on Monday, the closeness of the race at the national level likely played a significant role.

“Tightness of the race is maybe an even better predictor of whether we’ll have a heavy turnout,” says University of Victoria political science professor Dr. Jamie Lawson. “Historically it’s often been the case that a tight race draws people out.”

While deciding who best deserves your vote may not be an easy task, it is vital, and you have numerous options for getting the information to finalize your choice this weekend.

To make it easier for people come general voting day, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission and BC Transit is even providing free rides for registered voters who show their Elections Canada Voter Registration Card.

Here on the West Coast there’s much talk around federal election time as to whether our votes matter. The simple answer is yes they do from both a philosophical and practical perspective. Even at the local level the Victoria riding is shaping up to be an interesting race and come election day, your one vote may indeed have a significant impact on the outcome.

So, while the choice of who to vote for may require a little work, the decision of whether to cast your ballot simple: just vote.