EDITORIAL: Pushed to the polls

While 2011 is shaping up as the year of marathon voting for B.C. residents, few wanted to elect a new federal Parliament this year.

While 2011 is shaping up as the year of marathon voting for B.C. residents, few wanted to elect a new federal Parliament this year.

However, the continual conflicts and tensions caused by seven years of minority governments in Ottawa mean that an election is always a possibility.

This latest one was precipitated by what appears to most non-politicians to be relatively minor policy differences.

Despite the Liberal and NDP campaign bluster, Canada’s government was functioning in stable fashion, and for the great majority of citizens, the so-called transgressions of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives hardly been registering on the radar, if at all.

Why the Liberals see this as a good opportunity to try to seize power now is somewhat unclear, yet that is why the country is headed for another unwanted federal election – at a cost of $300 million plus.

Perhaps those facts will push voters to the polls.

In the 2009 provincial campaign, just over 50 per cent voted. Provincial and federal elections are going the way of municipal elections, where few participate and most simply ignore them altogether.

From now until May 2, it will be up to the political parties and local candidates to try and stimulate enough interest so that people show up at the polling booths.

Whether they approve of an election or not, those who are eligible should take the time to vote.

Voting may seem dull, but democracy is a precious thing.

Voting in a free and fair election is something that people in many parts of the world would love to have a chance to do.