Canada goes to the polls today and the results are coming in. Regardless of the final outcome, today was a major milestone for me.
At the age of 55, despite living all those years in a western democracy, this is the first time in my life I’ve been able to take part in a national election.
Until we moved to Canada I lived in the island of Guernsey, a self-governing Crown dependency. Sure, we elected out own government, but with a population of 60,000 in global terms it was the equivalent of a municipal election. And although we relished our political independence, the truth is that many aspects of our lives were under the influence of Britain. Even so, we had no representation in Westminster, so played no part in British elections.
Since moving, we had to wait several years to become citizens before being able to vote. Now we’ve passed that hurdle, I finally have a voice - however small - on the world stage.
This is significant. The right to vote is an important part of our way of life, a fact that too many people take for granted.