Elections matter. Wherever in the world that you are. Whichever party you like. Voting matters.
Four years ago, maybe on this very day, I wrote a post imploring women to go out and vote. Today, doing the same thing – vote, vote, vote!
The Elections Of All Elections
Very few times in history voting in elections have been more important as it does today. Obviously, you know that my primary reference is to the presidential elections in the United States of America.
My personal political leanings tend to be centre of left, on some matters it is very left. However, whatever your political leanings, you ought to exercise your right to vote!
Canadians will head to the polls soon enough and I will be among them. Honestly, I did not always exercise my franchise in every past election. My adolescent years in Jamaica were very much focussed on women and voting, politics in general and international affairs. However, my life several years ago was in somewhat of a topsy turvy and quite frankly, and ashamedly so, voting was the last thing on my agenda. Those who know me will tell you that regret is not a word that comes easily to my lips – it will not now. I do not regret my decision not to go to the polls in 2011 but it is something that has not happened again.
Seriously, Our Lives Depend On It!
There is another election that my eyes are focussed on. It does not have international consequences as the election of the next President of the United States has. However, it can and will impact or at least influence the lives of Jamaicans on a local level.
While this Foundation will not engage in partisan politics of any nature, whether Canadian, US, Jamaican or any other country in our world, what is important to us is that women never forget that:
- It was a long-fought battle for us to gain the right to vote.
- Women in several countries around the world still cannot vote.
- The female vote is extremely important – it can be the deciding factor in many political races around the world.
Why Elections Matter And Why We All Must Vote!
On this question of women and voting, five years ago this is what I shared on my personal Facebook profile:
“I told my team that I will not be at work on Monday and why. They all said, ‘Seriously Claudette?’
Yes, I am dead serious that I need the entire weekend and morning of Election Day to decide who I am voting for. Having not watched television at all for two years, haven’t read a newspaper in 2+ years and have not voted in the last federal elections I need more time to decide.
My vote counts this time to me more than ever because of my granddaughter. I am voting for her and in her interest every time from now on. As:
1. Immigrants (13 years) and citizens now for almost 8 years
2. A thinking, independent and strong woman
3. A person of colour
4. As a non-religious individual
5. A soon to be a senior citizen (15 more years)
I am voting to make sure that this next and all future governments ensure, protect and legislate with the best interests of women, children and seniors at heart. I’m voting for those who support equal rights for ALL and not pander to any one group.
I’m voting for good schools for children, social welfare programmes, good jobs for ALL, fair immigration practices – ones that encourage the continuing construction of the mosaic called Canada.
Not Every Woman Can Vote In Elections
Another reason I will not miss voting ever again is that many women around the world are dying for the opportunity to choose for themselves. Women in the United States won the right to vote about 100 years ago. In Canada, women began voting in 1916, gaining full right to vote in 1919.
Wherever in the world that you are reading this, please go out to vote if you have that right. If you are living in a country where that right is restricted or completely prohibited, do your part – quietly if necessary – to change the system for your daughters if not for yourself. I am not into political agitation but this is not – voting is a human right as much as any other in my book.