VANCOUVER, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 – From coast to coast, the situation facing people, animals and the earth is serious – the problems intimidating and the challenges immense says The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). “If you believe as I do, that one person can make a real difference, then children and young people in every community across Canada can effect real change by asking their family and friends to get out and vote in their provincial elections," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director, with 4 children and 6 grandchildren of his own.
Practical Suggestions on How to Get Out The Vote can be found here.
“The animals you care for so deeply, are facing more clear and present dangers than ever before. When encouraging your family and friends to vote, The Humane Society of Canada can only offer these simple words: “This is your time. If you don’t want someone gambling with your future, remember that every vote counts and that is why it is so important to Get Out The Vote. Canada needs you, because we are stronger together. To push back the tide of cruelty and indifference, we need to prove once again that for people, animals and the environment, who cares wins and that good government only comes with accountability and consequences,” says HSC Chairman & CEO, Michael O’Sullivan.
And with good reason says the animal charity: "Why should children and young people simply have to put up with and then clean up the mess left behind by adults who are now in control of their world? It is unfair and disrespectful to leave children and young people adrift in a society with problems we created for them. We simply don't have the right to ignore them just because they are not old enough to vote," says O’Sullivan, the father of two children. Most important of all he says: "We don't inherit animals and the earth, we borrow them from our children."
Use The Speed of Thought to Get Out The Vote: Children and young people also have an amazing array of tools at their disposal that move at the speed of thought to Get Out The Vote: Twitter, Face Book, YouTube and blogs are growing in number and diversity every day and reach into almost every home and business across Canada. Here are practical suggestions for children and young people to Get Out The Vote.
The animal charity also says that as we watch and support ordinary people just like us around the world, including our own troops, fighting and dying for freedom, democracy and justice, we are reminded that we should never take our Canadian quality of life for granted. Even more importantly, we owe a debt of honour to repay all of those who came before us, the ones who made the sacrifices that mean we can live in a free and open society.
Elections Canada reports that the last election in 2008 had the worst voter turnout in Canadian history at an all time low of 59%, meaning that at least 4 out of 10 Canadians did not vote. And what about young adults who may be voting for the first time in their lives? They have tremendous power to affect social change. Marc Mayrand, Elections Canada’s chief electoral officer said: “If young Canadians had voted in the same proportion (as the 55 to 64-year-olds) ... there would have been 800,000 more counted votes in the last election."
This is a staggering loss to Canadian society as a whole. On the other hand, the combined power of these votes would be a groundswell of public participation in democracy that would be immense and benefit every single women, child and man across Canada," says O'Sullivan, "along with protecting animals and helping to heal a wounded earth."
O'Sullivan believes that the low voter turnout was due to the fact that many people no longer trust civil servants, politicians or a political system they feel has abandoned them. Regrettably, some politicians and civil servants may see this as a good thing, because it allows them to pursue their own agendas with less interference from the people whose tax dollars pay for everything.
"You cannot ask politicians and civil servants to use your hard earned money wisely and work for you if they don't respect you. The only way they will respect you is if you Get Out The Vote and encourage those who can to vote and participate.
The Humane Society of Canada says that even if there are only two days left before Election Day there is time for children and young people to Get Out The Vote. “Children and young people today grew up using social networking to connect with each other and participate in democracy in a way that has left traditional political debates behind them in their wake,” according to O’Sullivan.
He continues: “This is a well-educated take charge generation that has grown up using instant communications to reach out to one another with the speed of thought. They are highly intelligent, motivated, resilient, socially-connected and have an enviable sense of justice. Asking them to Get Out The Vote is something that comes natural for them," says O'Sullivan.
He says that children and young people offer hope for the future in the same way Ghandi did when he said: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
O'Sullivan says those words still ring true today: "There is a proven link between cruelty to animals and later violent behaviour towards people that even the FBI uses. Kindness towards animals makes us compassionate and better people. Respect for nature also reminds us that whatever we do to the environment we do to ourselves. So you see, if the animals lose, then so does everyone else."
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CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com
For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 15 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, uses a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don’t give up. Ever.