With two major elections just finished, it seems an apathetic attitude has settled over Saskatoon, foreshadowing an ill turnout or maybe a premature voter evacuation in the upcoming civic election.
It seems Saskatoon is just a little too preoccupied to care about voting yet again. Is there just too much going on in our lives right now to care about what’s going to happen just a little later on down the line?
Sure, there’s a few brave citizens at the front lines, canvassing and setting up information booths on campus, but most of us are barely skimming the leaflets we get in the mail before discarding them in the trash.
In case you didn’t know, on Oct. 26, we’ll see another batch of ballot boxes popping up at polling stations around the city. This time, to decide who will become our school board trustees, city councilors and of course — the big one — our mayor.
Sure, a lot of these candidates’ names won’t circulate as widely as those like Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau or Brad Wall, but students should think twice before ignoring their right to cast a vote for Don Atchison, Charlie Clark, Hilary Gough or other. Just fill that box one more time, baby.
Sure, we’ve been through this all before. We know that responsible citizens do their research before going and scribbling on their ballot, we know that people fought for our right to vote and that it’s a nice way to contribute. For some, I guess that’s just not a big enough push.
Maybe you’re tired of hearing about politics or you’re disappointed about recent elections results or maybe you feel like change won’t happen on such a small scale. You’re not wrong to feel this way, but you’re not right to either.
We’ve heard people spouting that it’s not only just a right to cast a vote, but also a privilege. I won’t concede to that — you also have every right to abstain. Personally, I hold true that it is simply in the public’s best interest to be informed with the way the governing system around them operates. It doesn’t hurt to be in the know. After all, we once asked for this.
Bear with me, it seems that if we’re still in agreeance that democracy is a thing that works for us right now — warts and all — we are also agreeing to participate in and facilitate that democracy.
While that might mean making a choice to refrain from voting, I implore you to educate yourself before skipping the polls. After all, whether or not you participate, a decision will be made and that decision will undoubtedly impact you in one way or another. Don’t forget that your vote does count.
I will be casting a vote in the civic election. I believe there is an opportunity for positive change and I’d like to use my voice to impact that. That being said, I can’t say that I am, at the time of publication, fully informed on all of the candidates platforms or at all actively engaged in this election. I feel the same apathy that plagues the population creeping over me.
I’ll work on it though. Every day, new information is becoming available to us, the citizens of Saskatoon — that also includes students who’ve recently moved to the city — and I expect to take advantage of it.
Sure, it can be difficult to be interested in the goings-on of civil politics, but there are issues to be concerned with, goals to strive for and — believe it or not — there is potential for a brighter future for our pretty little city in the prairies.
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor