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Get out and vote

cartoonThe pages of this newspaper and others have been filled with it. Airwaves of both television and radio have been filled with it. Many an Oshawa resident received a knock on their door over the Thanksgiving weekend from a political party to encourage it. The message: get out and vote.

This past weekend, with advanced polls opening up, saw some long lines for those wanting to cast their ballot. In fact, according to Elections Canada, nearly 2.5 million people voted in the advanced polls, representing a 16 per cent boost over the 2011 election.

This rise in the numbers of voters is an encouraging sign, with voter numbers sliding over the past few decades, reaching a low of 58.8 per cent in 2008 before rebounding slightly the next time around in 2011.

It’s clear to see that this election has boiled down to a close one, and each vote matters more than ever.

Now, with less than a week to go, there is only one more opportunity to get out there and vote – and that date is Oct. 19, this coming Monday. Those that have been putting it off and putting it off, past the days when advanced polls were open or when you could still pop over to the Elections Canada office – this is your last chance to have your voice heard.

And for those that say that they can’t vote on Monday because they have to work – remember, the polls open at 9:30 am and don’t close until 9:30 pm. If you are scheduled for a 12-hour day over that time period without a three-hour window, your employer is, by law, required to give you time to go out and cast your ballot.

According to the CBC, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are holding steady in the polls with 34.2 per cent share. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are not far behind, standing at 31.7 per cent. The Conservatives are looking for a majority in order to carry on with business, since neither Liberals nor the NDP say this will back a minority government. A minority government never lasts long and results in a huge expense to the taxpayer to hold another election.

Tom Mulcair and the NDP have been slipping in the past couple of weeks, and currently sit at 23.4 per cent. Mulcair was seen yesterday in Oshawa, out front of the GM Centre, trying to put some pep back into his campaign.

But it’s anybody’s guess as to which party will garner the most seats. Your vote is important, so get out and vote.