When You Cast Your Vote: A Reminder of the Human Impact of the Electoral Process

As the Canadian federal election quickly approaches, and advance polls open in a few short weeks, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone of the impact decisions at the polls have on the people around you–friends, family, neighbours–often in ways you least expect. I will not tell you who to vote for, but I will encourage you to reflect on the consequences of your choice, especially in the wake of a pandemic that will have long lasting and far reaching socioeconomic and sociopolitical effects.

When you cast your vote

The women, who have had to sacrifice careers, finances and personal ambitions to shoulder the emotional and physical labour of this pandemic; who have had to shoulder the majority of child care; who have had to endure a drastic increase in domestic violence and sexual assault.
The small business owners, especially of traditionally marginalized communities, who have had to struggle, adjust, and improvise throughout the changing situation of the past couple of years, and who have not qualified for desperately needed financial assistance if they are too new.
The healthcare workers and education personnel, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and EAs, who have had to keep working through drastically different conditions, and with great challenges. Who have faced impossible tasks and who have been celebrated on hand while being beaten down with the other.
The LGBTQ+ community who are still struggling, still being told that their very identity is a lie or a great wrong, whose success and hard work in campaigning for a ban on conversion therapy has been undone by the machinations of politicians and a gamble on an election call.
The many, many people, of all backgrounds, who desperately need more economic support to be able to afford food and shelter for themselves and their loved ones. Who have worked and saved for years but have seen little reward and gleaned little joy from it.

When you cast your vote
People like me:
privileged in many ways, broken in others. Living with disabilities, finally making some income, but not nearly enough to cover rising costs of living; longing for love and romance and family; needing emotional, mental, and physical support but finding many, many barriers on all these fronts.

When you cast your vote

That your vote affects real people, that austerity measures and cost-cutting may help the overall economy but only at the cost of the many, and for the benefit of the very few.
That moderate measures, and middle-ground stances, are no longer sufficient; that disparity is growing, that polariziation is increasing, and the climate is changing for the worse. That we don’t have time any longer for half-measures, and that radical changes that come with economic risk can be done if the political will is there.

When you cast your vote
Your friends, your family, your neighbours. Know that your loved one are likely affected in ways mentioned here, and in many other possible ways. Reflect on what will most help them.
That your vote matters, that your vote affects people, that your vote is an opportunity to make a choice for something better than the status quo, that your vote has real and significant moral consequences and weight.

When you cast your vote
ALL of this
And make the right choice.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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