By Anna Kim
If the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign were a sport, we might think of it as a marathon since the campaign has endured for over 11 weeks. Or we might say it is like a triathlon or Ironman competition given the range of tasks candidates have been expected to accomplish over such a long stretch of time. We could also liken the election campaign to a team sport – say, baseball? – since with the party system, candidates and their party leaders must work strategically in concert with one another to secure a victory.
But democratic politics is not a spectator sport. The electorate, voters, citizens are indeed the major players – and stakeholders. Casting ballots will determine the outcomes. And the stakes are high since the federal government plays a big role in shaping the economic playing field, developing our country’s infrastructure, building national identity or our ‘team spirit’ and creating effective social programs so that everyone can take part in the game.
The election outcomes will be an important part of the great game of democracy. But once the votes are in, the game will really have just begun. After all, a robust, healthy democracy is measured not only during the championships but also by what is done during training season and regular games. That means cultivating an active citizenry along with a government that is responsive to the voices of those they are elected to represent and work on behalf of.