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Added: Fri, 10/09/2015 - 11:11am
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The longest and most expensive federal election campaign in Canadian history – except for the 1872 election period where voting occurred over an 89-day period – will soon come to an end after 78 days of official campaigning. The election will take place October 19, with advance polls from October 9-12.
According to Elections Canada, in the last federal election held May 2, 2011, of the 24,257,592 people on the list of electors, only 14,823,408 voted, representing 61.1% and one of the lowest voter turnouts in Canadian history; only 58.8% of eligible voters participated in the 2008 federal
election.
Some forms of electoral reform such as lowering the voting age, allowing online
voting, or making voting mandatory have been proposed to combat the overall decline in voters. 
Voting is important. It’s one of the
necessary duties citizens carry out in order to maintain our system of democracy and its benefits. When we vote, we choose the
representatives who will make the laws and policies that govern how we live together; we also earn the right to complain when things do not go the way we hoped. All Canadian citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote on election day, a right our ancestors fought long and hard to obtain, overcoming gender, racial, religious and administrative obstacles to ensure
everyone, including women and prisoners, can have their voices heard. Some countries still do not have this luxury.
However, voting only for the sake of
saying you did is also not enough; voters also have to be making informed choices based on information they receive from reliable sources. They must be thoroughly informed as to who and what they are
voting for and why. Many voters don't have a clue and make decisions based on who their friends or family are voting for or to prevent a certain candidate from winning.
Over the last several issues, the Pontiac Journal has published in-depth interviews with each of the candidates running in
the Pontiac riding, in both French and English. These interviews can be consulted by reviewing past editions of the paper
or by requesting copies by emailing editor@journalpontiac.com.
It’s also important to be well informed about how to vote; according to one source, about 120,000 ballots were rejected in the last election, representing almost 1% of the total vote. That’s a pretty hefty number! Details about where to vote, how to vote, what identification is required, and a list of candidates for the Pontiac riding is available at www.elections.ca.

Allyson Beauregard