This year, North America's 2 largest countries will be having elections.
The Canucks will have theirs on October 14 - my birthday, eh? (Wish me a happy while you're at it as well. It'll make me - happy.)
The Yanks will be heading to the polls on November 4.
These elections - like any other elections - have campaigns based on very serious issues affecting everyone. From big businesses down to the most common of men, each platform have an effect.
But I'm not going to tell you how to vote, even though my preference is still "conservative".
I am not going to say that one party is better than the other, even though up here in Canada, Stephen Harper has done a respectable (not great) job in running the country in spite of having a minority government - neither Paul Martin nor Joe Clark could lay claim to doing anything better.
What I want to tell you is this...
There's nothing wrong with being pissed off at your representative/minister of Parliament/government.
But the vote to which you're entitled represents your voice.
It is the only silent-but-deadly way to send a message.
Of course, the Yanks have something called a "recall" which allows them to turf any hack that would offend them.
We Canucks are stuck with the same schmuck for 4 years.
But this year, with the war on terror still going on and an apparently imminent economic implosion looming over the horizon, these elections will be crucial. Whoever is chosen to lead will have a lot on the plate and many lives, reputations and bank accounts on the line.
That's why you should vote.
And I'm not just aiming this at the young n00bz who'd rather pwn someone online rather than get in line at the ballot box.
This goes to you. My generation. The 30-/40-/50-somethings.
The ones who used to identify with Generation-X.
All the former slackers, stoners, punkers, new-wavers, headbangers, nerds...
We who pay the taxes, rents, mortgages with our hard-earned cash.
Those who set aside little for themselves while feeding family, patners and pets.
Yes, politics and government suck, but apathy can lead to much worse.
So for G-d's sake, please.
Just go and fucking vote.