Get your vote on!
The BC Provincial election is fast approaching and we’d be lyin’ if we said we weren’t excited. As you can imagine, most of us at the HiVE are passionate about using our votes to incite social change, and it seems that most of us are pretty ready for a shake up on parliament hill.
HiVE Member Andrew Larigakis is an architect that is passionate about protecting the environment both in his profession and in his personal and political work as an activist. We asked Andrew how he felt about the importance of voting, and if he had any tips for newbies!
Why is getting the vote out important to you?
Whether you are concerned about affordable housing, government corruption or climate change, nothing has a bigger impact than who in power in government. While government can’t solve every problem, it can have a significant impact for the positive or make things a lot worse. This lesson has really hit home with the recent elections in the U.S. and the Brexit vote in the UK. Certain groups vote in numbers and others don’t. The political parties that win are those that can best mobilize their supporters to get out to vote.
Why is it vital that people participate in the provincial election and not just the general election?
There is so much on the line in this election! The environment, housing, the direction of the economy. Provincial governments in Canada are very powerful and the platforms of the BC Liberals, NDP and Greens are very different.
As the election approaches, what is the best way to decide who to vote for?
Information about the parties and their platforms is everywhere in the news, on social media and websites. Most of us have already absorbed enough to know how to vote. It is also useful to know your riding.
What qualities would you recommend that folks look for in a candidate?
For myself, I am more concerned with the party that will be in power than in the individuals.
What would you say to people who do not have faith in any of the candidates running?
No candidate or party is ever going to be perfect. Choose the best option from the choices available and vote. If you are part of a demographic that doesn’t vote, you will never be represented. First you vote, then politicians start to pay attention to your issues. It seems backwards, but that is the way it always is.
Any tips/recommendations for first time voters?
It’s quick and easy. Vote. Don’t feel you need to know everything. Find out if you are registered and, if not (you probably are), register. You can register when you go to cast your ballot. With a picture ID and one other piece [of identification], you can vote at any polling station. To find out where you are actually registered to vote, take a look here.
Now you are ready! Go forth and make us proud, British Columbians! Vote vote vote!
Andrew Larigakis can be found online here.