Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers since before Joe Clark was prime minister of Canada.

Odd Thoughts: Just do your job and vote

Regardless of what the cynics and naysayers tell you, every vote does count

By Bob Groeneveld

.

Vote.

There is an important federal election coming up.

Okay. Every federal election has been important.

But this one is easily the most important of all… because all the others are history. The one happening next month is a story that has yet to be told – and you get to be a part of telling it.

Some folks will claim that their one vote won’t make a difference anyway.

They’re wrong.

Once upon a time, a Liberal candidate won the NDP stronghold riding in which I lived by eight votes. When it was later determined that as many as 11 military personnel stationed in Germany “may have inadvertently” voted twice, due to the way absentee ballots were handled at the time, the whole result was thrown out.

The voter turnout in the subsequent by-election was dramatically higher, and the NDP candidate was handily returned to Ottawa.

It took being hit over the head with those eight votes for people – who were too certain that their candidate was a shoo-in – to realize how important their individual votes were.

Then there’s the argument that “politicians are all the same anyway.”

Well, they’re not. That’s just lazy.

You need to do a couple minutes of work to be a responsible citizen. Start at www.elections.ca. Type your postal code in under “My Voter Information.”

If there isn’t already, there will soon be plenty of information about each of your candidates readily available, including summaries and profiles through this newspaper.

There will be public forums where you can hear the candidates speak about who they are and what they stand for.

If you’ve already decided that you don’t like any of the major (or minor) parties and/or their leaders, then choose the local candidate who you can trust to represent your needs and the needs of your community.

Maybe it will be a politician who wouldn’t be afraid to stand against his/her party or leader – such creatures exist. Mark Warawa stood against his party a couple of times, as did former Langley MP’s Randy White and Val Meredith (Meredith to the point of stepping out of the party for a while).

Langley Progressive Conservative MP Bob Wenman brought a “right to die” bill to parliament – with massive local support but totally against his party’s wishes – a full two decades before death with dignity was finally recognized legally in this country.

What many Canadians don’t realize is that they do not vote for a prime minister, the way Americans vote for their president. We vote for local representatives, and it is they who select the prime minister.

And unlike American legislators, they can easily deselect their prime minister – and as John Diefenbaker learned in the 1950s/60s, the threat of that can make local representatives very powerful on your behalf.

If they have the courage to use the threat… and if you vote for courage instead of party lines.

But most of all, vote.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read