We are going into an election soon. It's fairly obvious by the way political candidates are coming forward, campaign managers getting lined up and the plethora of press releases the various parties vie to get in the media.
This is hardly a surprise, since the present government is reaching the end of its mandate. Theoretically they could wait until next Spring, but that is stretching things a bit too much. We will likely have a fall election.
The politicians are gearing up for the election. So should we.
Despite the common grumblings about politicians not doing much, a whole lot of important decisions have been made over the past four years. Some we have agreed with, some not.
Just in Queens County alone there have been several major changes. The ferry had an impact on our tourism industry. The mill closing, arguably the biggest single impact on our community in 100 years, was followed by a series of government interventions, from buying the property to setting up Innovacorp.
The parties not in power always come with the slight disadvantage of not being the ones who made the decisions, especially in a majority government. However they have voted and they have spoken over the past four years as the decisions have come forward. It would be good to hear what they have thought about those decisions, what they might have done differently and what they will do moving forward.
Voter apathy is a major issue in this province, but we need to change that. Perhaps some of it comes from how we see the choices. Gone are the days where had to vote the same way our parents, grandparents and so forth voted. Some of us might be left wondering how do we vote without that structure.
That admittedly is a small portion of the population. Others have always had that choice, but may have the perception that all parties are created equal. The problem could stem from either too much or too little information.
Sifting through what is fact and what are buzzwords also doesn't make it any easier. The issues will be broad and complex, since that is the way our world is right now. However it is still important to wade through to find that core message that appeals to us. The onus is on the individual to do this. No one can tell another person what they should think is important.
So while the politicians are getting ready to campaign, it is time for us to get ready too. We need to know what issues are important to us, and what questions we want asked. Maybe then more of us would be inclined to go to the polls.