(Graphic by Alex Dascalu/AQ)

Dear voters,

You should know that I’m no professional and I have not studied policy or political science. That said, because of the extensive research I have done for myself, I am well aware of what predicament this country is currently in. Because of this I choose to educate myself on a variety of issues that matter to me to make the best choice I can this October in the federal election. Many of this year’s platforms focus on issues such as climate change and health care – both of which are being used as party selling points by individuals representing the far-left and far-right. These stark debates create a dichotomy among people who may not be sufficiently informed on other parties and the ideas from them. People forget that Canada does not run on a two-party system.

We are so fortunate as young people and university students that we can learn so much about the election and how each party aligns with our values and goals. In consideration of some conversations I’ve had, I’ve realized there is a gap that needs to be filled when it comes to the availability and accessibility of information on the election, the candidates, and what they stand for. We take for granted the amount of information readily available to us, allowing us to make our own informed decisions based on what we deem important to us and the future. This alone would support that we should help other people be just as informed as we have the privilege of being. Share your resources – not to make people vote one way or another, but to allow them to make informed decisions just as we can. For the people who blindly share misinformation to make others weary of certain candidates: at least update your biases – read up!

Many people believe their vote will go to waste if they don’t vote for Liberals or Conservatives. Not to mention that there are some people who complain repeatedly about federal affairs are those who support the same party each election or refuse to vote at all.

Unfortunately, people tend to fear change. Are they misguided and denied resources? Are they lending themselves to a traditional voting pattern? Is a don’t-fix-what-ain’t-broken mentality to blame? My concern lies not in which party anyone votes for, but in the reasons why they’re choosing that one over the others.

What I’m trying to say with this is: inform yourself for yourself and – if you’re feeling particularly adventurous – discuss the election with your parents, siblings, friends, anyone who can vote. If they don’t know who to vote for, show them resources to learn for themselves.

We should all consider the future of not only ourselves, but others as well regardless of their political orientation or demographic. If you need some inspiration, pick your issue of choice and learn about it: environmental action and carbon emissions; taxes and gun regulation; immigration and housing.

Be specific and be personal. Vote.