Life

B.C. parents need to vote now more than ever

By Bianca Bujan

(Postmedia Network files)

(Postmedia Network files)

It’s easy to make excuses for not voting - especially as a parent.

As a working mother of three young children, I thought my absence from the polls was justified - because I just didn’t have the time, and as a non-partisan woman who wasn’t politically savvy, I was concerned that I would cast an uninformed vote, swaying the results with an eeny, meeny, miny, moe approach to making my electoral selections.

I voted for the first time in the 2015 federal election, and I admit, my decision to do so was heavily influenced by the commentary that was swirling on social media, and by conversations amongst friends and family.

But before I hit the polls, I did my homework.

I didn’t want to choose a candidate because my parents were doing so, and I didn’t want to vote for the sole purpose of voting against someone else. The biased TV ads didn’t influence which box I ticked, and I certainly didn’t pick at random on the day of voting. Instead, I read up on the issues, and tried my best to gain a basic understanding of each party’s perspective. I took online tests to see where my opinions fit into the political landscape, and I visited the webpages of each candidate in my riding to learn more about who they were and what they represented. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the year women won the right to vote in our provincial elections. It is our right, and our responsibility as mothers, to cast our votes.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to politics if you’re not a political savant, but the issues at hand matter and will have a huge impact on both the present and the future that we’re building for our children.

We’re in the middle of a child care crisis in B.C. Our public school system is underfunded and in a state of disarray, and our baffling housing market is in dire need of an overhaul before our province loses all of its best people to the more affordable areas that lie outside of our metropolitan centres. These are the matters that will drive me to the polls this year.

We need to express which issues matter most to us as parents, and where we think the budgets should be spent.

Thanks to our American neighbours, we’ve seen what can happen when people opt out of their right to vote. Let’s exercise our right to vote, provide proper representation for our province, and have important conversations with our kids about voting so that they hit the polls when they reach the age of 18 with an understanding of how it all works and why it matters.

I plan to vote in this year’s provincial general election on May 9, and so should you.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and marketing consultant. She tweets at @bitsofbee and blogs at bitsofbee.com. Comments: bitsofbee@yahoo.ca.