After five weeks of listening to the leaders of the parties debate (misrepresent each others positions) the issues the big day is here. I went and took the voting stroll. ( see diagram below)
I dropped by the voting booth #163 at Le Club d'Age d'Or (Golden Age Club) mid morning to find myself alone with Denise and her mother, the two poll officials. I showed them my drivers license ( a new security requirement as proof of who I am. There is a long list of documents one could use or, if you have nothing, a friend of neighbour can vouch for you.) After finding my name on the voters list I was handed my ballot and took the stroll.
The ballot looked like this. This is an example of a ballot in an Inuit riding, probably in Nunavut. I made my X in the circle opposite my choice after first looking thoughtfully, for a moment, at the Marxist-Leninist Party line. I resisted the temptation and voted for the only party I have ever voted for, The New Democratic Party. Finishing the stroll I handed my folded ballot to Denise. She tore off a strip, handed it back and I slipped it in the slit in the box. My civic duty has been fullfilled. It is all so simple. It bewilders me that our American neighbours make the voting process so complicated. Our system does everthing it can do to facilitate voting, including supplying interpreters for any language, including sign language. or they will help with any other special need. The explanatory information mailed to our house is available in heritage or aboriginal languages. The voters list is maintained by Elections Canada with the understanding voting is a right. The American system acts as if it is a privilege that must be earned evry time.
Our riding is called Nickel Belt. It is very compact as Northern Ridings go. It includes Greater Sudbury, French River, Warren-Markstay and West Nipissing. It is a riding that is traditionally a Liberal Riding. There actually is a chance to elect a New Democrat this year. The incumbant is not running and the NDP candidate finished a strong second last election. The Conservatives trail far behind here. This is a working class riding with lots of miners and forestry worker's families. Perhaps, my vote this year will be for a winner.
Tonight, the results will be in. It appears it will be a minority government. Most likely Conservative under Stephen Harper. The election called early, by Harper, will have proved nothing other than Canadians still do not trust the Conservatives enough to give them a majority government.
In the meantime, the Americans will drone on with their laborious election process. It is getting a little painful for even a political junkie like myself.