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Archive for October 10th, 2007

It’s October 10th. Have you voted?

October 10, 2007 @ 09:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

So, it’s Wednesday, October 10th, 2007. That means that if you’re a registered voter in the Province of Ontario and haven’t vote yet, you haven’t done your civic duty. If you have already voted, thank you.

Depending on where in the province you live, you probably have at least three or four candidates to pick from. How you vote is entirely up to you. Some people vote based on the candidate’s party. Others vote for the candidate based on who the person is, regardless of their party. Still others cast their vote because someone they know voted for the same person. Undoubtedly, some people vote based on the order the names appear on the ballot. I’ll bet there’s even someone out there who flips a coin or throws dice to determine their vote.

And there’s a disturbing number of people who do not vote. For whatever reason, these people have decided that their vote doesn’t matter or perhaps they genuinely don’t care. These people do not get to complain about anything the government does until such time as they do cast a vote, which is probably in three or four years.

Oh, and there’s a very small number of people who find themselves in extenuating circumstances that prevent them from voting, such as being unexpectedly out of town on election day. If you’re one of these people and you intended to vote, that sucks.

For the rest of you, I can’t encourage you enough to get yourself down to your polling place and fulfil your civic duty by casting a vote for your preferred candidate and your vote on the referendum.

The polls are open from 9am to 9pm Eastern, or 8am to 8pm Central if you’re in the extreme western part of Ontario.

According to Section 6 of the Election Act, everyone is entitled to three consecutive hours within which to vote. So, if your normal work day doesn’t give you three consecutive hours before or after your working hours, your employer is required to give you enough time off that you have three consecutive hours within which to vote and they’re not allowed to dock your pay while you’re off voting:

Employees to have three consecutive hours for voting

(3) Every employee who is qualified to vote shall, while the polls are open on polling day at an election, have three consecutive hours for the purpose of voting and, if the hours of his or her employment do not allow for three consecutive hours, the employee may request that his or her employer allow such additional time for voting as may be necessary to provide those three consecutive hours and the employer shall grant the request. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 6 (3).

Deduction from pay prohibited

(4) No employer shall make any deduction from the pay of any employee or impose upon or exact from the employee any penalty by reason of his or her absence from work during the consecutive hours that the employer is required to allow under subsection (3). R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 6 (4).

Time off best suiting convenience of employer

(5) Any time off for voting as provided in subsection (3) shall be granted at the time of day that best suits the convenience of the employer. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 6 (5).

If you don’t know where to vote, you can find out online at the Elections Ontario website (www.elections.on.ca). Click here for a direct link to their “Where Do I Vote?” page.

If you don’t know who’s running in your electoral district, you can find out on the Elections Ontario website by clicking here.

If you still need help, you can call Elections Ontario toll-free at 1-888-ONT-VOTE (1-888-662-2629).

Finally, to draw on something John Hollins, Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario, said this morning on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning show: Get out and participate in democracy. Cast your votes for your candidate and the referendum. Or just the candidate. Or just the referendum. Or, if you truly can’t decide, go to your polling station and exercise your democratic right by declining your ballots because even that is participating in the democratic process.

Get out and be heard! Go vote! Now!

Letter published in today’s Ottawa Sun

October 10, 2007 @ 08:23 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

A letter by Brian Newman in Tuesday’s Ottawa Sun was way off base and did nothing but spread disinformation about MMP. They published my comments about it in today’s Ottawa Sun.

Don’t forget: The polls open at 9am!