Advance View: Freedom has responsibility


Two of the most important days that can happen in a year are happening next week.

They’re more important than any other day with any significance attached – more important than Christmas or Hannukah or Diwali or Easter or Ramadan or… any religious holiday, because both days transcend any personal preference for faith.

The two days are connected in a much more profound way than that, this year at least, they fall on the same Sunday-to-Saturday line on your typical calendar.

Remembrance Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11, is about recognizing and honouring the hundreds of thousands of Canadians – and millions more from numerous other nations around the world – who put their lives on the line in defence of individual freedom. Tens of thousands of those Canadians paid the price that so many others with them were willing to wager that the freedom of their country’s children and their children’s children was worth everything.

And Saturday, Nov. 15, is Civic Election Day all over B.C.

It’s the day that we all get to prove that we appreciate the freedom that has been won for us at such great cost.

We’re not going to condescend to suggest that if you don’t vote then you are disrespecting the veterans who risked so much, or that you are dishonouring those who gave up everything except maybe a tip of the hat from us on Remembrance Day each year.

The freedom to choose our leaders, whether at the community, provincial, or federal level, is perhaps the most important freedom that we have.

And it includes the freedom to decide that you’ll leave that choice to others.

When you get down to it, though, that’s a cop-out, isn’t it? Not voting really means you’re not bothering. 

The danger of that, of course, is that one day you may suddenly realize that you no longer have that freedom – that you’ve allowed others to take it away from you.

Freedom, after all, is not just a right, it’s also a responsibility.

– B.G.

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