I "borrowed" this Letter to the Editor in the April 1st London Free Press:
Many literally dying to vote
Canadians love democracy. So much so we send our young men and women half way around the world to fight and die defending it. When people in countries across North Africa risk their lives to rise up and demand democracy, we cheer them on and even send our war planes in their defence.
But apparently less than 60% of us love it enough to protect it in this country by voting. In the last federal election 10 million eligible voters sat on their hands and didn't vote.
There are many and varied reasons for not voting. Attack ads and our first-past- the-post electoral system leave many Canadians disenchanted and disenfranchised. Staying home doesn't fix this.
If you do not make your voice heard during the election, politicians have no incentive to address issues you care about. Why would an MP be concerned with issues affecting young people when only 37.4% of 18-to 24-year-olds voted in the last election?
Get informed. Let candidates know how you feel about the issues. Vote.
Mike Claus St. Thomas
(London Free Press April 1, 2011)