Comment 49067

By Jarod (registered) | Posted October 08, 2010 at 18:31:34

I'm conflicted. I think it should be important to want to become a citizen of the place you call your home, and you should like that place enough to make that a priority.

There should be certain benefits for becoming a citizen. I'm not sure voting is one of them though. (It may well be, I just haven't taken the time to really think about it, talk to people on both sides, weigh in and all that stuff).

But if new immigrants are among the lowest turnout for voting during elections, it would seem to me that those who DO choose to vote may be capable of making an informed decision. We're concerned about not enough people voting, and the argument is posed about not letting someone who has lived here for a while (time varies I know) vote and let the government know what they think and what they want. Should we wait for people who are active voters and just move to Hamilton during an election year (no matter their background or ethnicity) and tell them they haven't met some prerequisite to make their vote valid? - I don't know.

But I do disagree heavily with this:

Otherwise, FOREIGNERS, people whose values and experience are not those of Canadians have influence political decisions which are being made in this country. If you are persuaded residency and the obligation to pay taxes entitle you to a say in the democratic process, I believe you are wrong. Residency IS the benefit of living here. Paying taxes is the price you pay for that benefit. Being a Canadian is what entitles you to vote. C'est tout.

Foreigners, as you put it, make up a massive percentage of Canada. In fact there are only too few original Canadians. We all immigrated somewhere along the line. We came here and brought our political agendas, our religion, our ideas and we made this place our home.

Residency is not the benefit of living here. That's like saying eating is the benefit of eating. Canada holds home and holds true the safety of the people, the allowance for differences in religion, thought process, ideologies. The lack of freedom that some people flee from, into the arms of Canada should make every single person proud to live in this country.

Foreigners also have great ideas. Over the past few months we've been talking about bike lanes (as an example), quoting and referencing places abroad that are doing things right. We highlight the great things that are coming out of sound reasoning and good action overseas, and in one encompassing statement you undo the thought that anything or anyone who doesn't have the label Canadian attached to them will do. I'm sorry, I'm Canadian through and through, I'm a habitual Leafs fan, I like the cold. But Canada isn't Canada without immigrants.

If I met someone from another country and moved here and actually wanted to know about the political process, and how they could vote I might have a heart attack. THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. People who care!

I know (and I'll likely get lamb basted) there are certain priviledges a Canadian citizen should be entitled to.

But there in lies the problem. Entitlement. How do we get the sense of loss or that something has been taken away from us? There are millions of people taking Canada for granted everyday. People that were born and raised in Canada. And they vote. Or at least some of them do.

Maybe there should be a cooling off period. Maybe you should live here a year and then be able to vote. Maybe there's another solution. I don't know. But that should apply to everyone. You moved to Hamilton from Alberta and it's an election year, vote in the next election.

I'm sure I'll get tossed around for it. But I think if someone wants to vote, has made up their mind, lives here long enough to have a driver's license, let them vote.

If you're worried about your culture being whisked away as immigrants pool into Canada and vote for things that are important to them there's a gated community somewhere in Utah that would love to have you. (apologies in advance)

Comment edited by Jarod on 2010-10-08 17:51:22

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