Letter: Canada is a peaceful democracy and you should take advantage

Election time in Ghana (my home country) is quite an event. Party colours and paraphernalia are everywhere from manifestos to calendars and more eccentric merchandise such as fans, albums and even tissue boxes with electoral candidates' faces plastered all over. In Ghana, you’ll find snaking lines of people queuing up to vote, many of whom woke up at 3 a.m. to get a spot in line. Ghana is filled with eager citizens who really can’t wait to vote.

Ghana is a peaceful democracy. That being said, in the late 20th century as with many newly democratic countries, we suffered military coups. Although our first elections were in 1960, it took quite a while for them to permanently return in 1992. As a result, whenever elections come about, you see a lot of peace campaigns. Some of the media went as far as to broadcast Hotel Rwanda during the most recent 2012 election in the hopes of inhibiting election violence and serving as a reminder of the fallout of violence we see all too often in daily news. 

So why is there such apathy among Canadian youth when it comes to elections? If, in Canada, you have nothing to fear, why wouldn't you vote? If you have peace, don’t take it for granted. The polls don’t bite.