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Get informed before voting

(Cartoon by George Longley)

The 2019 federal election has been one of the most controversial, contentious, and interesting to watch in some time.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was rocked by photos and videos showing him dressed in both ‘blackface’ and ‘brownface,’ leaving him to have to answer some pretty serious questions.

Meanwhile, there was an uproar,  on a smaller scale, when it was discovered Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has dual Canada-U.S. citizenship, although he’s sworn he is working to revoke his American citizenship.

Also, Jagmeet Singh and the NDP have quietly, or not so quietly, been gaining momentum in the polls after numerous candidate withdrawals had the party reeling.

And while these stories dominated the headlines over the past month, once Oct. 21 passes and a new government is elected, they will likely fade into the background.

With five days until we cast our votes, how much do Canadians know about the parties and what they stand for?

Quite often, people say they didn’t vote because they didn’t know the issues and where respective parties stood on them.

Is this really an excuse that can be accepted in 2019? With so much information at our fingertips from the Internet, it isn’t that difficult to find out a party’s stance on most issues.

These facts are easily found in the pages of newspapers, online news sites, and the websites for every party and candidate looking for our support.

There is a difference between voter apathy and voter ignorance. If someone simply doesn’t care to vote because they don’t support any of the parties, or they have no interest in their democratic right to vote, that is their choice to make.

But for those who want to vote, but simply can’t find the time to learn, that’s on them. Not the parties, not the leaders, not the political system.

So take the time to learn about what Canada’s political parties are and aren’t in favour of, and what they plan to invest in or perhaps cut.

Most people do their homework when making a huge purchase such as a vehicle or home, so why not do the same when deciding who is best to run the country.