Editorial: polls be damned

Photo by Samantha Moss


Election time is upon us again. What an exciting (and terrifying) time to be a Canadian. Arthur Newspaper is often criticized for being a left- leaning paper, and rightly so! Leftist rag, student newspaper, these comments no longer faze us.

The truth is, as a newspaper that has no corporate interest, we have the ability to represent the issues as candidly as possible.

Take, for example, a recent article in the Peterborough Examiner titled “Parents don’t buy reasons for death of kids.” This article was widely criticized on social media for not representing the event at all, but rather one small aspect of the event- the death of Joyce Carpenter, and how it was classified as a suicide rather than a murder.

The words “white people” were put into quotations, and there was no mention of the conversation or celebration that took place. It was a beautiful event, and we decided to make it the front page because that is the importance this issue takes.This event was meant to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, and was not just done through a series of speeches, but a beautiful art installation of empty red dresses hanging from the trees in the park.

The artist that started this project is Winnipeg-based Metis artist Jaime Black.There was dancing, drums and dress that tied the sadness of mourning with colour and tradition, a coming together of our community in this moment.I have placed this photograph of my two good friends taking in this moment, because it stirred something within me. It’s a thoughtful moment of silence we should regard this heavy issue with it.This issue is at the heart of this election, because as Canadians we have come to understand that something is very wrong.

Whether it’s job prospects, debt, or importance placed on the issues surrounding the environment or First Nations rights, health care, even our Veterans are suffering in this economy. You can often hear people say that Stephen Harper has the most experience running the economy, he knows what he’s doing- but the fact is that Canada is no longer the land we are proud of.

If I sound sentimental, forgive me. The polls have angered me recently, this whole system is a crock. Though our voting system is often heavily criticized, I want to reach out to everyone who has been watching the polls recently and are keeping strategic voting in mind.

Who are conducting these polls? Who even has landlines anymore? I certainly don’t, and neither do the thousands of kids in residence throughout this country. I read a poll the other day that said the Liberals were in a slim lead over the Conservatives, and another poll that said the NDP were way ahead with the Conservatives a close second. You see, the fact is, they aren’t asking us these questions. It’s whoever answers their phones, and not every party has the ability to do that.

The structure of the electoral system is catered more to parties with the financial resources to campaign better than others. The ability to do just about anything in the election has a monetary factor, and some parties just aren’t as rich as others. I implore you voters to see through the glitz and glamour, to research the issues and vote for someone that represents what you stand for, whether it is poverty or climate change. It’s common to hear this about the Green Party- “they’ll never win, they can say whatever they want because they’ll never get actually get in.” I cannot stress how many students I’ve met who, politically side with the Green party, but don’t want to “waste their vote.”

There- in lies the point, if enough people vote for that party, it isn’t a wasted vote. The tide changes, and as critical young people, it’s up to us to change that ideology. There are many people who firmly believe that not voting is taking a stance against the system, but unfortunately that cliched saying of every vote counting couldn’t be more true today. With the wrong people voted in, the system remains unchanged, and we the people are powerless to the system.

Is it so wrong to value the working class? Is it a crazy thought to take the politicians out of the pockets of the corporations and have them care about us instead? No, it isn’t. It isn’t leftist, it isn’t naive and it isn’t some bohemian concept to want fairness. It isn’t a novel idea to care about our land and our people, it’s just frustrating that we have to fight so hard for those in power to embody that idea. So find the candidate that represents your values, and vote for them, polls be damned.