“Are any of them anti-vaxxer, anti-science people?”
“Would any of them ban books from schools?”
“Are any of them homophobic?”
I was standing in line to vote in Winnipeg’s municipal election on Wednesday when I overheard those questions being asked during a conversation between a couple of people standing right behind me. I’m not sure if the two were partners or just friends but they seemed to know each other quite well.
The man said he had decided which mayoral and city counsellor candidates he was voting for, but he hadn’t had time to research the school trustees running for office in our area.
The woman beside him said she had done due diligence and had looked up information about each school trustee candidate.
That’s when he asked the three questions above. Were any candidates anti-science, supporters of book banning or clearly against rights for the LGBTQ community?
The woman said she had checked out all the trustee candidates and those three things wouldn’t be concerning about any of them if they were elected.
The man breathed a sigh of relief. “Then it doesn’t really matter which one I vote for,” he said.
At first, I was a little dismissive of the fellow who was basing his vote on such narrow criteria but later I realized I was really no different when it came to my voting behaviour.
My major areas of concern in Winnipeg are homelessness, poverty and public safety. I voted for the mayoral candidate who I thought would address those concerns best.
I know in the last federal election my voting decisions were made with certain issues front and centre-respect for women’s bodies, respect for gender and sexual orientation choices, and respect for the scientific research about climate change and pandemics.
In the next provincial election, I already know that adequate funding for education, health care and housing will be my three top concerns.
Essentially, I am the same as the man I overheard at the polling station.
I found the conversation I listened to in the voting line on Wednesday very thought-provoking. I think it provided me with a snapshot of how many Canadians vote.