The time of decision is nearly upon us.
Over the next two weeks citizens across Saskatchewan are being asked to decide who can best lead both the province, and then its urban municipalities. (In case anyone has not marked it on their calendars the provincial election is this next Monday, Oct. 26, and municipally we vote for Yorkton’s Mayor and Council on Nov. 9).
The twin election campaigns running concurrently were also going to be a tad cumbersome in terms of voters keeping things straight in terms of who is running for what, what statements regarding issue positions are being made by which candidates, and of course the dates to votes. Then stirring the already muddy waters of the 2020 campaign trail we have COVID-19, which provincially in general, and locally in particular, have seen numbers jump, and concerns heightened in the last couple of weeks.
There has to be concern among some voters, in particular those older or with pre-conditions that would make fighting off COVID more difficult, about going to the polls twice in two weeks, and just what risk that might entail.
There have been options of course, advance polls where less people are likely to be on-site at one time, and municipally a mail-in ballot option, but most will still trek to the polls on election days. This year we just need to do so with a bit more care and attention, respecting social distancing, choosing to wear a mask for community safety, and in general being aware that we are still very much in the midst of a pandemic.
That all said, it remains important we get out and vote.
Some might suggest this year is more important as we are electing those who will lead us through the pandemic and recovery, although voting is always something we need to hold as important.
At the heart of democracy is a people’s right to vote for its leaders. We have sent many good men and women to battlefields around the world to defend that simple right we need to forever hold dear. We mark their sacrifices November 11, mere days after this year’s twin votes, putting something of an exclamation point on how hard won putting a simple ‘X’ on a ballot has been through the decades.
So now we have the opportunity to honour those sacrifices by wading through the muddied waters of this COVID-influenced election to choose the candidates who share our individual visions for Saskatchewan and Yorkton. We will not all share the same vision, nor vote for the same people, but therein lies the greatness of a free vote in a democracy, we get to choose collectively who best to lead the majority of those who take the time to vote.