Opinion: Canada Votes

The election bomb has officially dropped and it is time to look ahead at the decision facing Canadians and Goldenites on Oct. 19.

The election bomb has officially dropped. Last weekend the prime minister visited Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall to dissolve Parliament and begin the election set for Oct. 19.

This will make it the longest election period in Canada in the last 100 years, so we’re all going to be subjected to a more drawn out campaign.

This is my first federal election working for a newspaper, and I’m anxious to see how it compares to provincial and municipal elections.

After a couple very heated local elections, I’m expecting this one to be a bit more mellow, but I may be proven wrong. Our current governing party has turned out to be quite polarizing, so who knows, maybe the race will get ugly.

Regardless of the end result, my hope and prediction for this election is a higher voter turnout. Stephen Harper has angered a lot of people, and I’m optimistic that the people complaining will show up to the voting booths this time around.

For those of you out there who haven’t necessarily been complaining, and feel like you don’t know the issues, I’d like to make a recommendation.

I have recently found a very interesting quiz online that helps voters understand where they stand on certain issues, and which political parties they tend to agree or disagree with.

After answering a few dozen questions on social, economic, education, health care, and environmental issues, among many others, the results will show you what percentage of policies you agree with for a given party. For example, you may agree with 75 per cent of the Conservatives’ policies, and only 59 per cent of the Liberals’ policies. It also breaks down what areas you agree with for a given party, and which ones you disagree with.

I’m not saying this tool should be the sole factor in deciding who you should vote for this fall. But if you feel unfamiliar with federal issues, or politics in general, it’s a great way to delve into the topic, see where you stand on certain policies, and see where the different federal parties stand on those same policies.

Of course throughout the painfully long campaign period we’ll be able to hear where our local candidates stand on issues that affect Golden (ie. the Trans Canada Highway).

But having a basic understanding of the national issues will only make your voting decision easier. You can find the 2015 election quiz at: canada.isidewith.com.