Get ready to vote!

Despite being a nonpartisan organization, at The Local Good we believe engagement with local politics is an extension of living locally and informed active participation in our democracy is especially important among voters under the age of 40. That’s why we made Green Drinks on Oct. 7 an opportunity to chat informally with local candidates from all parties (well, all the parties who sent representatives). That’s also why we’re using all our social media channels to encourage people to exercise their right to have a say in how this country is governed. That’s why we think people who vote are the sexiest people.

Photo: Deborah Merriam

Here are some helpful websites that you can use to get informed before you vote on Oct. 19:

  1. Before you go vote: Visit Elections Canada‘s website to check your registration online, find out where to vote and make sure you have the identification you’ll need at the polling station. If you’re not yet registered to vote, you’ll also find instructions there on how to register in advance (or, less easy but still possible, registration can be done in person on voting day itself).
  2. There are a couple of tools out there to help you determine which federal party’s platform aligns most closely with your views: CBC News’s Vote Compass and Maclean’s This Or That? Policy Face-Off Machine.
  3. If particular issues are dear to your heart, you may wish to check if there’s a watchdog or advocacy group tracking the parties’ platforms on that issue. Science funding and evidence-based decisionmaking? Support for the CBC? Implementation of recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Reforms for proportional representationFood security issues? Digital and privacy policy? All these and more have report cards and candidate questionnaire responses that you can find online. 
  4. As in the recent provincial election, there are groups who are promoting strategic voting to prevent splitting of the left-of-centre vote, and their forecasts of which candidates are most likely to do well in your riding may interest you regardless of your thoughts on strategic voting. For the federal election, those groups are LeadNow’s and
  5. Looking for resources to help you rock your vote — and promote voting to your peers — as a student, engaged young voter or Aboriginal voter? Check out Vote Nation‘s profile pic generator, the Council of Canadians’ Youth Voter’s Guide, Samara Canada’s Election Hub and We Are The Vote‘s indigenous voters’ campaign.
  6. As in other recent elections, local political blogger Dave Cournoyer is maintaining a comprehensive list of candidates with links to all their websites and other contact information, which is an invaluable tool to quickly find your local candidates, research their positions in their own words and reach out to them on social media to clarify where they stand.