When you read this, my friends, it will be Election Day in Canada. And I have one word, and one word only, for you. That word is: Vote!
Just like it says on the sign on the door of the Queensborough Community Centre, our hamlet’s historic former one-room schoolhouse.
That’s where Raymond and I cast our ballots on Day 2 of advance polling, a week ago Saturday. It was a glorious autumn day, and what with our polling place being super-conveniently located just around the corner and up the street from the Manse, it was as easy as pie to head up and do our civic duty. The experience was made more pleasant by the friendly faces and helpfulness of the election crew working there – one of them someone I’ve known practically all my life, from the time when I was a kid growing up in the Manse in the 1960s and ’70s – and the musical soundtrack from the iPod that one member of that crew had brought along. How can you not dance around a little bit when you’re casting your ballot as the sun shines down on you through the windows of Queensborough’s historic schoolhouse, while Linda Ronstadt sings Silver Threads and Golden Needles?
(Which reminds me that very soon I must do a post on how totally great Linda Ronstadt’s songs from my Manse-growing-up years were.)
Anyway, voting in the advance poll – which Raymond and I did because both of us would be busy on Election Day, me working with journalism students at Loyalist College as they report on the outcome; you can follow our coverage on Election Night here – was a thoroughly pleasant experience for us. Judging by the steady stream of people arriving at the schoolhouse, lots of others were taking advantage of the advance-polling option. But I hope that everyone who hasn’t voted ahead of time will take part in the same pleasant experience on Monday, Oct. 19 – whether at the Queensborough Community Centre or wherever your polling place may be.
It doesn’t matter whom you vote for; what matters is that you vote. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can exercise our franchise so readily. Anyone who fails to take advantage of this opportunity is letting us all down, and missing out on one of the most important rights and freedoms that we as Canadians enjoy.
So here, let me get you in the mood. Silver threads and golden needles will not mend this heart of mine – but you marking an X in the circle of the candidate of your choice, whoever it may be, will do the trick. Take it away, Ms. Ronstadt!