Well shit, another get out and vote pep talk is upon you.
I know what you're thinking: after last year's voting madness both in the United States and here at home, you've seen enough democracy to last you a lifetime. But don't throw down your little ballot pencil yet! You can double your voting pleasure in the next week alone. Either you reserve your right to bitch about the Students' Union by voting in the by-election Oct. 10-12, or you can flex your other Calgary muscle and vote in the municipal election on the 15th. I say do both!
Eighteen, count 'em 18, candidates have flung themselves into the ring for the Mayoral race, ranging from the polished of the polished to the usual joker candidates. This year's election will be tight with four main candidates who we'll call Bev, Richard, Dave and Ray. I don't care who you vote for, but keep in mind that with a race this close every vote makes a difference.
Unless you were living under a rock in Peru (no offence to Peruvian rocks), you should remember last year's U.S. presidential election and how important every vote was to that race. It's going to be that close in our corner of the world, so don't miss your chance to be part of the democratic process. You'll be kicking yourself in the head if your candidate loses--especially by a slim margin.
The actual process of voting in Calgary is a heck of a lot easier than voting for Gore in Florida. If you have lived in Calgary your entire life, you're all good to go. If you're a student from Alberta, then you can only vote in your home (not the university's) riding. If you're from out-of province, and have been here since April 15, then pick your Ward and sign-up to vote. Poll clerks aren't allowed to refuse your vote at the polling station if you meet the criteria.
I've heard some great excuses for not voting in the past, but consider this fair warning: if you use any of these, I reserve the right to flog you in public during final exams.
"I knew my candidate was going to win" (that's what all the Gore supporters said)
"I ate my ballot" (this one recently landed people in jail)
"I don't have time" (polling stations are open on Monday for over 10 hours. You've got time)
Well, if I haven't convinced you yet to go and vote, I've only got one more thing to try. Pretty Please?