We went to the advance poll to vote yesterday since we won’t be in our riding on election day. When my husband was ready to deposit his marked ballot, the elections officer lifted the calculator covering the slit in the ballot box, so Dave could put his folded ballot inside. “Don’t you use a Bible anymore?” Dave asked. Dave could remember a time when a Bible was placed on every ballot box.
Of course it makes sense not to use a Bible on a ballot box in a country as religiously diverse as Canada. But a calculator? Really? First of all who uses a calculator anymore? And secondly can’t we think of something more Canadian? How about a book by a famous Canadian author? Here in Winnipeg we could use copies of Carol Shields’ Stone Diaries, in Saskatoon Yann Martel’s Life of Pi could grace the box and in Brantford a book of poetry by Pauline Johnson. You get the idea!
Although we shouldn’t use a Bible on the ballot box, I do think one’s religious values should influence the way we vote. What’s interesting though is that people of the same faith group will vote for every party on the ballot because we all have different ideas about what it means to be a Christian, or a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu. I’m glad I live in a country where every one of every faith can express their different understandings of that faith openly and honestly and in diverse ways. I voted for the party I believe will do the best job of continuing to make that kind of religious freedom a reality in my home and native land.