Voting a privilege not to be taken for granted

Not to sound like the proverbial broken record – or scratched CD, attending the forum planned for tomorrow evening at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort in Salmon Arm would be a prudent use of time. As, definitely, would the follow-up action of casting a ballot, come Monday.

On Thursday, April 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., a 2011 federal all-candidates forum will be hosted by the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce.

Conservative party incumbent Colin Mayes, Liberal party candidate Janna Francis, NDP candidate Nikki Inouye and Green Party candidate Greig Crockett will be present for a round-table discussion, as well as what can sometimes be a revealing open-mic session, in which participants must depart from their scripts and answer questions from the floor.

People not able to attend the forum have been invited to submit their questions via email to the chamber of commerce at

Even if you don’t wish to ask questions and prefer just to listen in, such spectacle is a valuable opportunity to get a feel for the candidates, and determine who is best equipped to represent the various voices of the Okanagan-Shuswap.

Never in recent memory have so many young adults seemed so engaged in the election campaign, which bodes well for the future of this country.

To some, including our prime minister, this federal election represents a dangerous and unnecessary exercise. To a great many others, however, it is a privilege of the democracy in which we live.

We hope that people of all ages will be similarly inspired, proving that Canadians acknowledge, appreciate and don’t take for granted the much sought-after right we have to cast a ballot.