The federal election will be Sept. 20. (News Bulletin file photo)

Editorial: Pandemic campaign should capture our interest

Election will give Canadians a say about what we want and need from our political leaders

Another campaign is underway and it shouldn’t be viewed with cynicism, because it’s those who make the most of the election who will earn a chance to be leaders in Canada.

As anticipated, the writ has dropped and the race is on, with a 36-day campaign culminating in a federal election Sept. 20.

The campaign will be contested amidst a fourth wave of COVID-19, but with vaccines providing a layer of protection this time, we can expect a different experience than last fall’s virtual, physically distanced provincial election. Shaking hands and kissing babies might not be considered COVID-safe quite yet, but politicians are likely to be knocking on our doors and inviting us to get-out-the-vote rallies.

We should be listening and paying attention to what they’re saying, because elections matter. Not every platform promise gets kept, but some do. Some pieces of legislation might impact us almost immediately and some might take generations before we can really pass judgment. The Canada of now and the Canada of the far-off future will be shaped in part by the choices voters make next month at the ballot box.

Our country has been led by a minority government the past two years, and there’s always a chance that the balance of power could end up even narrower once all the votes are counted on Sept. 20. Nanaimo-Ladysmith is as fascinating a race as any of the nation’s 338 ridings: It’s one of only two Green seats, the Conservatives have been runners-up the last two elections, the NDP have been third but have held the riding in the recent past, and even the Liberals have finished as high as second in the vote count here.

There’s plenty of time in between election campaigns where we can lament, if we want, that politicians aren’t listening and that we don’t have a say. Well, they are listening, and we do have a say, and a campaign worth getting caught up in.

READ ALSO: Campaigning begins in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

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