This is the big day, Canada. The end of election fatigue. The end of attack ads. The end of being told what to think.
Today is the day you will stand alone and think for yourself. Just you, a pencil and an unmarked ballot.
This has been, for me, the most exciting and the most stressful election I can recall in my 29 years of voting. I can’t imagine what it has been like for the people actually doing the legwork – all those earnest candidates. Hats off to them.
Part of my exhaustion could be simply because I went through this provincially so recently. Democracy is a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing.
Part of it definately is that I am so optimistic, and it scares me. Alberta’s election was so amazing. I am almost afraid that it was a one-off; a once in a lifetime chance for me to feel truly represented by a truly progressive government.
Part of it is my overall sense that we live in interesting times. Canada, the west, and the world are all on the verge of a huge culture shift. Voices formerly silent are being heard; women, aboriginal people, LGBT people. Power minorities are rising up and being heard and counted more than ever before in modern history. It makes me hopeful, it makes me anxious and it makes me hope as I have never hoped before.
Canada, this is not your average election. This one is a game changer, I can feel it. This past decade has to have been political bottom, and now we have to rise up.
We can get ourselves proportional representation and make sure that more voices are routinely heard and a plurality of views are always represented.
We can categorically and emphatically reject corruption, we can reject racism, we can reject lies, we can reject greed, we can reject ignorance.
We can embrace transparency and accountability, inclusiveness and tolerance, compassion and a sense of common purpose for a common good, we can choose to govern ourselves by knowledge and truth.
All very lofty. I know. But we can do it, Canada.