I’m voting for the first time as a Canadian citizen.
I became a Canadian citizen March this year. I renounced my Filipino citizenship and swore to Her Majesty and sang “Oh Canada”. It was a surreal experience, and it hasn’t sunk in to me yet that I’m now a Canadian citizen.
I’m voting because I want to experience a Canadian election.
I’ve only voted once in my life. I was 18 and there was a municipal election for city councilors and district representatives in Pasay City, Philippines. I was excited because I was voting for the first time. I was also uninterested because I wasn’t familiar with the candidates. When I went to the voting location, I didn’t expect it to be loud, crowded, and chaotic. The process was slow and confusing. It was disappointing and discouraging for first-time voters like me. Nevertheless, I’m still looking forward to voting—whether in the Philippines or here in Canada.
I’m voting because I want to vote.
I want to know what it feels like to vote and how it feels like a year after the elections.
I’m not political, despite what some of my friends think. I still have a lot to learn and understand in politics. I don’t know all the political spectrum, party politics, and ideologies. I don’t read the news everyday. And I certainly I don’t know all the Canadian officials, cabinet members, MPs, and MLAs.
But I was born and raised in a country where government officials do atrocious acts for power and money. These people who were elected to serve the country steal the citizens’ hard-earned money and live in extravagant lifestyles as they watch the poor suffer the consequences.
I’ve been disappointed far too many times with Philippine politicians. But that’s why I’m voting—because I have hopes for the City of Winnipeg. This city is now my second home—I want it to prosper, I want it to become livable, and I want it to be included on lists with all the big cities in the world. Voting gives me hope that I could make a difference because I now live in Canada.
Now, if only I could figure out who to vote at the 2014 Winnipeg Civic Elections on October 22nd.