Here in Canada the election season is upon us. As October 19th comes closer, there is a lot of positive energy going around from people excited about different political parties and candidates. However, every once and awhile I hear things like this:

“I don’t have the time to vote”

“One vote won’t make a difference”

“It doesn’t matter if I vote or not”

I am all too familiar with not wanting to vote and have heard all of these excuses from my friends and family. However it is a destructive failure of imagination to believe that just because you will probably never cast the deciding ballot in an election or single handily shape the course of Canadian politics, that your vote does not matter.

Everyone who casts a vote makes a difference in more ways than most people realize.

Pretend Improbable Escapes built two new escape room games. One is a murder mystery and one is video-game themed. Fifty percent of customers are interested in the first theme and fifty percent are interested in the second theme. However, anytime groups of friends talk and decide on which experience they want to play, 90% of the group that wants to play the murder mystery speaks up but only 10% of those who want to play the video-game theme do. A large percentage of people come to the murder mystery and very few come to play the other game. Over time Improbable Escapes will start building more and more murder mystery games and we wouldn’t focus on the video-game rooms. We would never know that the forgotten 50% even existed, let alone would we try to accommodate them.

Why would your local politicians want to form a campaign around issues that matter to you if your demographic does not show up to the polls? Not voting is one way to end up tremendously underrepresented in your riding. If you are not voting, no one is hearing your voice. You get one vote, the same as billionaires, CEOs and the prime minister himself. It’s the one time where you have the chance to say that you want to be represented, where a small community can come together to make a large difference. How could you give up that opportunity?

Melissa Eapen