Political Perspectives is produced by the students and faculty of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, Canada's oldest journalism school.


Election a bad idea? Ask a Libyan about that

Posted by jsallot under Election 2011, Election 2011 Campaign strategy, Election 2011 Faculty links, Election 2011 Media commentary

We’re into a federal election, a campaign that the governing Conservatives say is unnecessary and unwanted.

This will be the third federal election in five years, a fact the Conservatives hope can be used as a cudgel against the opposition parties.
Some news organizations are picking up on this theme.

“With a federal election almost certain, Canadian taxpayers will once again be footing the bill for their right to vote,” began a Postmedia news report this week. The report estimated the cost of this year’s election will come in at more than $288-million.

That’s not chump change for most of us working stiffs.

But it pales in comparison to the price being paid in blood by people in Libya, Yeman, Syria and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East to win the right to vote for their governments and leaders.
A price tag of $288-million also pales in comparison to the billions we spend to deploy soldiers and warplanes to help secure a democratic future for the people of Afghanistan, and now Libya.

And before we forget, 154 Canadian soldiers have paid the ultimate price in Afghanistan.

We can go ahead and gripe about the cost of this election if we want. It’s our right as a Canadians. But also remember the price others have paid for democracy.

And shame on us if we don’t get off our butts to vote when election day comes.
Jeff Sallot, former Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail and a life member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, teaches journalism at Carleton University