Voting is probably the most important thing you can do in life. Politics is not about who can provide you with safety; that is an illusion. It’s not about the economy; that is cyclical. It’s not about insulting someone’s appearance; that’s petty.  Politics is about expressing the ideals you hold dearest and turning them into reality. It is about imagining a future that is better than the present.

You may disagree with me, call me naïve, but being naïve is part of being young and that is a gift. Too often, we are taught to be cynical, suspicious, and afraid.

“Expect the worst,” they say, “And you will never be surprised.”

Now is not the time for pessimism; now is the time for idealism and dreaming. Dream of a better country, education system, and healthcare system. Dream of a government that will uphold the law and protect our rights and freedoms. We hold the key to a better country but do not use it for fear of change, for fear of the unknown, for fear of realizing our true potential.

We must not base our ideals for the future on the state of today but on what the state could be tomorrow.  Our votes are not meaningless – in fact, they are our only means for demonstrating the Canada we want. We are not taxpayers but citizens. We are not cowards who listen to those who preach fear. We are not voiceless. We will be heard. We will not be happy with the current state of Canada; we strive to make a better one.

This election is only the beginning. This century is going to be the most important time for Canada as a nation. This is where we have a chance to define who we are as Canadians, and where we stand in the world.  This is an opportunity to show that we are not afraid, we will not cower, and we will not meekly surrender our future. We are the true North, strong and free, and when we vote, the world will take notice. The future is ripe for the taking and here is our chance. Vote with your head, vote with your heart, and more importantly, vote for yourself because no one else will.