symbol, voting

Today is the day when Albertans will choose the next premiere of the province. Many people will be at the polls during some time today. Sadly, not everybody realizes the great privilege of voting in a free society.

Many countries have dictatorships where no alternative to the powers that be exists. Anybody even hinting at the dictator’s faults is whisked off to prison or just disappears in the middle of the night.

Some nations allow voting but showing up at the polls is dangerous. Opposition parties often threaten to kill voters and blow up polling stations in order to intimidate citizens. On occasions, opposition candidates are murdered so that the ruling power can keep its hold on the country.

I take my privilege of helping to choose the next provincial government seriously. In fact the first time I voted in any election was forty years ago. I haven’t missed one because I realize how precious our right to political dissent is. Though my first experience with voting was humiliating because the poll workers assumed I couldn’t even sign my name, I still felt proud of what I did.

People today in the west have no excuse for not voting. Practically every country has advanced polls for those who are unable to vote on election day. Some provinces and states even have mail-in ballots for those who are homebound. Candidates use social media and have web pages outlining their policies so voters can read them and make an informed choice. How much more must be done to get people off their couches and vote?

It seems to me that people figure their vote doesn’t count. History is filled with accounts where a few votes either way could have changed the fate of nations. I believe people are just to apathetic and lazy to vote. They don’t appreciate the honour given them by the governments they pay taxes to. Neither do they care that many people around the world would love to have the freedom they take for granted.

As long as I can, I plan to vote in all the national, provincial, and municipal elections held where I live. As I enter the polling station, I think about how fortunate I am that nobody is intimidating me to vote a certain way or that I might be shot. I therefore urge all Albertans to get out and vote. Stop letting others determine your future for you. If you’re too lazy to do your homework and vote, don’t complain about who was elected. You have no right to gripe since you didn’t bother voting.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.


  1. Oh. No. Do complain. Especially if you didn’t vote because you thought your options were absolutely futile to solve the problem OR WORSE YET would be exacerbated by voting for more of the same. If u don’t vote, do go complain! Clearly and concisely, usually three minutes or less, the best you can given the circumstances allowed. #OccupyCityHall and/or whatever your equivalent is, but YES INDEED COMPLAIN VERY LOUDLY (except use an inside voice or the mic will distort and they won’t understand the words you are trying to speak) to those obliged to listen.

    Don’t vote for the evil, lesser or greater, raise up your voice tell hell freezes over because #nuclearized water doesn’t freeze and if your selection doesn’t know THAT is their first priority, globally speaking, they are too stupid to hold office and its better left open for someone else to rise up.

    Just sayin! #rantover besos everyone, if you can, vote for the bestest we got, because our current best isn’t good enough!

    1. Excellent sarcasm, Nicole. So many people complain and gripe but they’re too lazy to get off the couch and mark an X on a ballot. I guess they’re all tired out from protesting and occupying public buildings. By the way, who’s at their homes? Maybe the homeless should move in there until the occupiers move out of the public buildings and spaces.

      I’m also glad that I voted, though I’m almost blind. Though my candidate came in third, I stand by my vote. Voting for the winner in the polls is foolish since that person might be the worst choice for a leader.

        1. Those occupiers didn’t have any realistic alternative. Robbing the rich to give to the poor only makes every one poor. It’s those with money who hire workers and buy books. People keep telling me that they can’t afford my paperbackss. If they had more disposable income from jobs, they would be more likely to buy them.

          By the way, the Government of Canada was wise to rent office space rather than keep a building of their own in Edmonton. That way, anybody protesting in there would be on private property and easily removed by the police. Sneaky, eh?

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