The Canadian federal election is quickly approaching and with that being said that seems to be the only thing in the news. Over the last couple weeks the news has been bombarded with the latest federal election debates, advertisements, scandals and platform strategies. With all of this pre-election chaos going on I have been able to observe some interesting opinions and views from a vast amount of voters. Some of these opinions seem to be surfacing on social media thus influencing other voters. This frustrates me because many voters seem to be making their vote based on one post they read via social media. If you are an inexperienced voter or someone who doesn’t follow politics I have compiled some simple tips that you should know before you vote in the federal election.
Before you do anything make sure you are registered to vote. If you are not registered, you can register at Elections Canada.
Personal research is extremely important as it will be unbiased and help you educate yourself on the competing candidates and party platforms. Once you start researching make sure you only read information from reliable books and websites as things such as blogs, news articles and social media are extremely biased and stretch the truth. Some great starting topics to research are the candidates, parties, platforms and debates.
A lot of people hear things about a particular party and their platforms from friends and immediately vote for them. This is not an educated vote because you don’t know about the candidates and their platforms well enough to fully cast a value based vote. Therefore a great starting point is reading about the different parties and their views on social, economic, financial and global issues. Once you start learning about each parties strategies you will be able to relate to candidates who have similar values to your own.
When I go on Facebook I am bombarded with lies about different candidates and parties. Everyday I see people sharing posts about particular candidates which are incorrect. This sharing of false information is then stuck in a never ending chain of re-sharing. It is frustrating to see this re-sharing of content because the majority of people who are sharing these lies are people who are uneducated about politics and the party platforms. These people tend to be influenced by their friends and families opinions whether it is accurate or not. For example, yesterday I read a Facebook post from a millennial which was a reaction to an article they read about one of the federal candidates. I read this persons post and I also read the article which was in fact from an unreliable source. After reading this article I was shocked because this article was extremely biased and it was obviously crafted to convince uneducated voters to vote against this candidate.
A big issue amongst inexperienced voters and individuals that don’t follow politics is the tendency to believe anything they hear. Based on my social media news feeds alone I know a lot of mellinials are placing their votes based on what their newsfeeds are showcasing and what their friends are posting. But is this information actually reliable? Absolutely not. Most of the political positions and information you get off of social media is biased and molded into the views of the individual posting. This results in posts on social media being filled with false information and exaggerations which in turn makes certain candidates look bad. Just to clarify, I’m not saying don’t listen to your friends point of views on politics, I’m saying listen intelligently and don’t take every word as a grain of sand. Do not base your vote on other peoples opinions of a candidate. Therefore this is why I stress that you do your own research from reliable sources.
One of the things that truly frustrates me is when people try to push their political opinions on others. This is extremely aggravating because these people have no say about who you vote for in the upcoming election. Thus my advice is keep your political opinions to yourself as your opinions will most likely differ with other people. Also from my personal experience, the people with the biggest political mouths seem to be the people who hear one piece of information and vote based on one tiny fact or event. Furthermore, make sure you practice proper voting etiquette and respect other peoples opinions and values. Respecting other voters is extremely important as everyone has different backgrounds which will influence there votes such as age and economic status.
Make sure your voice is heard on October 19th, 2015 by voting for a candidate you believe closely aligns with your views and ideologies. Do not let others influence your point of view with biased opinions and false information as your vote matters and it can change future. In addition, make sure you vote as this is an amazing privilege we have as Canadian citizens and ensure you make an educated vote by researching and keeping with your values.