You have the power – Haliburton Echo

By Darren Lum

It may be an exaggeration to believe that the vote is essential for the next four years, but I wonder.
Our participation in democracy depends on the votes we cast. It requires our attention. I believe it is our duty to vote, it is the least we can do. The municipal government creates policies and shapes the community in which we live and work to represent us at the provincial level by raising awareness of the issues that affect us. We need passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated fighters for us. We need them to guide us. We have to choose.
Every four years (and sometimes sooner), we have the privilege of deciding our government with our choice. This applies at all levels, including municipal, provincial and federal. This time around, it is the municipal level that influences some of the most influential decisions in our lives right here in our respective towns in Haliburton County.
A vote doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but if you see news footage from countries where voting is far from settled, the queues to vote are incredibly long. People sometimes brave persecution, physical threats and endure extreme elements such as heat or freezing temperatures during long waits to vote.

Living in our bubbles of First World existence leaves us isolated from how important democracy sometimes is and how much it depends on our participation. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s ours and it’s better than having no choice.
Look at China now. Recently, their leader Xi Jinping, 69, is potentially heading for power for the rest of his life. His first step is to take on another five-year term for violating the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) directive “seven up, eight down.”
This stipulates that Communist Party officials can only be promoted until age 67 and must retire at age 68. If that happens, he will serve his third term. Technically, this may not be the first time, but it is a return to leadership similar to when Mao ruled the country decades before. Xi is currently the supreme leader and also holds the three highest positions in the CCP as general secretary of the party, president of China and commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army. Even though some people in our country believe we are ruled by a dictatorship and want to publicize their hatred of Justin Trudeau, I’m pretty sure our Prime Minister won’t be in power for the rest of his life.

Along the same lines of that perception is what a slippery slope it is when politicians question the very system in which our country operates. Fortunately, the stoking of the fire of disbelief regarding our system of government has not crept into municipal politics. We have enough problems with voter indifference and apathy that we don’t need more reasons for the public not to vote.
Let’s give our time to vote. Not just for democracy, but for the men and women who have shown their commitment to run as candidates for their respective neighborhoods and offices, and for each other in the upcoming municipal and school board elections. Our community deserves to have a government that we need and not a government that we will end up with because of the few people who made the effort to vote.
Let’s act for democracy. Act for candidates. Let us step up for each other and we can move forward towards a better future that serves the many.
For Dysart et al voters, if you have not received your voter information letter, contact the township at 705-457-1740 ext. 667. Dysart offers in-person voting at City Hall. Contact Dysart for details.
For voters in Highlands East, if you did not receive a voter information letter, contact the township at 705-448-2981.

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