A job half done

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Frank Likely Frank Likely is a re­tired Angli­can min­is­ter and past pres­i­dent of the Springhill and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

I want to send out my con­grat­u­la­tions to all the can­di­dates who of­fered in last week’s pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

You did your job as can­di­dates. It was we, the pub­lic, who did not do ours.

Barely one half of the el­i­gi­ble elec­tors both­ered to come out and vote last Tues­day, the low­est rate in re­cent years. With the vote be­tween the Lib­er­als and Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives split­ting at about 40 per cent each, that means only about 20 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of the prov­ince ac­tu­ally voted in sup­port of the gov­ern­ment we now have. of Canada, vot­ing in elec­tions is a duty of cit­i­zen­ship along with serv­ing on a jury and obey­ing the law. It’s there in black and white in the book­let the gov­ern­ment pro­vides along with the guide to tak­ing the Canadian cit­i­zen­ship test.

The book­let, “Dis­cov­er­ing Canada: The Rights and Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of Cit­i­zen­ship” puts it this way: “In Canada, rights come with re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Th­ese in­clude ... ‘Vot­ing in Elec­tions (The right to vote comes with a re­spon­si­bil­ity to vote).”

One can only imag­ine the up­roar if po­lit­i­cal par­ties de­cided they would not of­fer up can­di­dates in the next elec­tion be­cause no­body cares.

In our rid­ing of Cum­ber­land South, we had four well-qual­i­fied gen­tle­men who went to con­sid­er­able ef­fort and ex­pense to en­sure the cit­i­zens of the district could be in­formed vot­ers. And we let them down by not com­ing out and vot­ing.

“So is vot­ing a right or an obli­ga­tion? Ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment of Canada, vot­ing in elec­tions is a duty of cit­i­zen­ship along with serv­ing on a jury and obey­ing the law.”

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