Why I never tell people who to vote for

I wrote my book, The Power of Your Vote, because I noticed people stop believing that their vote has power. It has the power to give 338 people jobs in the Federal government. However, no where in the book do I say who to vote for, BECAUSE political parties change, candidates change, leader changer, and their program and agenda changes.

Another reason is that I know we each have our priorities and needs from the different federal, provincial, and municipal government agencies. Our priorities change as we go through life’s challenges and milestones. One of the hardest things to achieve when it comes to elections, government, and political parties is perspective and context.

This 2021 election feels different because so much has changed over the past 2 years. ALL of our lives have changed. Every one has had hard times, stress, and life altering moments. As of this moment, I still do not know for whom I will cast my vote on Monday September 20, 2021. And the clock is ticking! Of all the candidates in my riding, online one answered my email with questions about this election.

Here are some numbers and facts to remember has you make your choice:

  • The 2019 Federal Election. It is important to note that over 9 million people did not vote (the exact number is 9,202,178). What is interesting is that the Liberal Party of Canada got a total of 6,018,728 and the Conservative Party of Canada got a total of 6,239,227. So, who is talking to the 9 million that did not vote?
  • Budgets. It is important to remember that the Federal government transfers money to the Provincial government, who in turn transfers money to Municipal government. If the Federal Government reduces its income by reducing taxes or eliminating fees, it immediately reduces the Federal Budget, which in turn will affect the Provincial Budget, which will affect the Municipal Budget.
  • If one promise or facet of a political party draws you in, make sure you read the complete program. Every party may have one aspect of their plan you really like. It is your responsibility to learn what the rest of their plan consist of before you give them your support. If you need help, try the Compass web application. It will ask you questions, you choose your priorities, and it will tell you which party your more in agreement with.
  • Not voting does not send a message. I’ve heard people say that no political party reaches them. Maybe it is time that voters get in the game by being pro-active and read up on party’s agenda and programs. It could be said that some party would rather you do not vote – IF you are not voting for them. I believe that all voters need to vote to send a strong message to elected officials. NOT VOTING, only says you do not care about decision made in your name and with your taxes.

My wish is that the 9 million voters who did not vote in the last election, actually vote in 2021. As much as voting only happens every 4 years (or earlier in case of minority government), it is the follow through that is needed if we want to change what the government plans to do.

Posted in From the book, quick thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So the debates are good to do some interviews with the leader of the party. However it is as important to get to know who the candidates in your riding are. It is important to ask them question and find out what their priorities are. Yes, every party has publish a platform, their promises and their vision.

What is still not 100% clear is how the candidates in your riding feel is their number one goal or issue they want to push, if elected. Every one that wants to be in parliament have things they want to see changed or created. It is one of the reason people become candidates in an election.

We has voters need to find out what their agenda is, otherwise you may not know who you are sending to parliament.

Now this will not take long. You have your list of priorities, right? With that you can come up with questions to ask the candidates. Also, you may have watch some of the debates or are planning to watch the upcoming debates. Did you hear a question that you want to ask the candidate in your riding? If you are waiting for an upcoming debates that is perfect, you can start the email and plug in the questions later.

To find out who the candidates are in your riding, go to Election Canada. On the first page they have a place to put in your postal code to find out the information you need.

Once you put in your postal code and the street you live on, the search will have a menu bar at the top that will show you who the candidates are in your riding.

When you click on the Candidates menu item, it will list the candidates for your riding. For my riding I got a list of website for the candidates that where I will go to get an email address so that I can send them in my questions.

The number one rule when sending your email, is to be RESPECTFUL and POLITE. You may not agree with the party they represent or what has happen during the past few years, but no one will respond to you if you are not respectful and polite. If you are angry about something, just say “I am angry about…”.  Do not call them name. Do not threaten them. DO NOT SWEAR!

Here is an approximate format of the email I will send to all the candidates in my riding:

Subject: Election 2021

I have seen on Election Canada that you are a candidate for my riding.

Here are a list of my priorities:

(put list here in bullet point)

Here are some questions I have about you:

(put a list of questions here in bullet point)

Please answer to me before (put a date here)

And then sign the email with your name.


If the candidate has a website, check it out, there may be answers to your questions on it.

The other tool you can use to find out more about how your priorities align with a federal political party is to use the Compass tool (it is in English and in French). If you are bilingual like me, try both see if you get the same answer!

Posted on by Marie-Agnes Pilon | Leave a comment

New Federal election – assess your priorities

Assess your priorities

So we have a federal election underway. Each party has taken the time to come up with a list of priorities, where they will spend money, where they will cut, what needs immediate attention and what will be done over a long period of time.

Commercials, speeches and articles have been written to communicate the list of priorities, the vision of where Canada should go, and what Canada cannot afford.

The things is, we the voters also have to take the time and make our priority list so that instead of sitting and waiting for someone to tell us what our priorities are, we are ready with our list. This way you can do a comparison and may find some surprises.

Remember this is a Federal elections. Remember as well that our taxes (and some fees) make the budget for the Federal government spending. Important to remember that they are a number of transfers that happens from the Federal to the Provincial government and then to the Municipalities.

I have a list of the Federal jurisdiction in my book on page 47 but you can find the information by searching the web. There are jurisdiction that overlaps or they are partially funded by different levels of government.

So what are your priorities for this election? Make a list, it will be useful later when you will either contact the candidates in your riding and during the debates.

Posted in From the book, quick thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Set Your Priorities

Political parties, third parties, and government alike have their priorities and what they want to work on, achieve, bring to the fore front and leave on the back burner.


What I found helpful is to have my own sets of priorities for the current or next government. This has help me listen better during debates and speeches. I listen to what they promise and what they focus on, as well as what they leave out. I can better compare my priorities with what the candidates, party leaders, and anyone else speaking out during an election.


It does happen that political parties do not really talk about all their priorities. They respond to the other parties or third parties claims and priorities by stating their opinions about their priorities and what it will do. Meanwhile never really saying what their political party’s priorities are. Those are theatrics and strategic moves to deflect the attention from their priorities by focusing on attempting to get voters against the priorities of the other parties.


Different levels of government have different responsibilities. Though it is important to remember that the money flows from Federal to Provincial to Municipal. These means that even if your priority is managed at one level, the other levels may be involved.


For example, if one of your priorities is health care. Health Care is managed at the Provincial level but the Federal Level sends money to the Provincial government to spend on Health Care. So if the Federal government plans on reducing transfer to provinces, there could be an impact on a provincial managed program.


Here are some of the responsibilities of each level of government:

Federal Government: National Defence, Criminal Law, Employment Insurance, Postal Services, Census, Foreign Affairs, Banking, Federal Taxes, Income Tax, Fisheries, Shipping, Railways, Telephones, Pipelines, Indigenous Lands and Rights, Agriculture, Immigration, Healthcare (transfer of funding), Federal Prisons and Environment.

Provincial Government: Direct Taxes, Health Care, Prisons, Education, Marriage, Property and Civil Rights, Agriculture, Immigrations, Road Regulations, Administration of Justice, and Environment.

Municipal Government: Parks, Parking, Libraries, Roadways, Local Police, Local Land Use and Planning (zoning), Fire Protection, Public Transportation, Community Water System, Waste Collection, Emergencies Services, Animal Control, and Economic Development.

Use the link below to print a list of possible priorities, write what your need is, and give it priority level. For example in Health care you could be in need of a family doctor, the priority level may be high or urgent.

My Priority List

Posted in From the book, quick thoughts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Look past the theatrics

Theatrics are great when you watch a magic show. They make the audience look away from where the illusion happens.

Theatrics, during an election, a race for leadership of a political party, or to push an agenda, are there to either obstruct your view or distraction from the big picture. Think about commercials where they repeat the same thing over and over; or when they use quote out of context, or simply use big bold fonts and an angry tone. Those type of commercials really want you to notice specific things, without looking at other actions, context, or repercussions.

Theatrics are there at conventions to hype up the crowd and get people ready to listen and cheer. Theatrics can even make sure that you will view actions and words in a specific ways.

It can be hard to look past the theatrics if they are constructed with words, opinions and ideas that resonate with your worries, concerns, or priorities. It is important to not take all the commercials, rhetoric, or propaganda at face value, which is the goal of theatrics. Theatrics are there to make you stop in your tracks and go no further.

If you find yourself stopped in your tracks by theatrics, commercials, speeches, or quotes, take the time to look behind the curtain. Find a way to take a step back and ask “What is this blocking from my view?” or “What are they not including in this message?”

One of the theatrics all political parties like to use is the promise to lower taxes with the shine reward of more money in your pocket. However, taxes are the way for government to have a budget to spend on things like health care, roads, environment protection, and military. How many ads about lowering taxes ever mentions budget cuts? Let’s be honest, reduction in taxes, is a reduction in budget, is a reduction in health care, roads, etc.

Theatrics are there to get your attention and to keep your attention from wondering about everything else.


Make it a game! Identify the theatrics and compare notes with your friends and family.

See the video

Posted in From the book, quick thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why a book titled The Power of Your Vote

When the idea for the book came, the election was about a year away. What I noticed was that people were already going at each other over allegiance to political party or opinions. However, no one was really talking about their priorities, what they wanted from a government, or how things could be done better where they lived.

Most of what I read were attacks and people acting like sport fans of political parties. Most important thing to remember Politic is not a sport.

So I wrote this book to start different conversion about politics, political party promises, and candidates. Also, to help myself and others to participate in democracy by voting, of course, but also, by talking about our priorities, our points of view, and opinions.

The book is not mainly about politics, more about communication. How sometimes the medium used to communicate promises is just emotions in a bottle then facts or information.

It is my belief that the more we vote, the more politicians will listen to votes instead of lobbyist or big party donors. Every voter has a power, and it is a vote.

Posted in From the book | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crisis time: give the government a chance

It is Saturday March 14, 2020. It is Pie day (3.14). It is also Covid-19 season or wave.

I have to admit to not have check a lot of comments on the different governmental twitter accounts that I follow or politicians that I follow. I do follow some journalists so that I get updated reports. And again, I have not read the comments.

This is definitely a crisis that is effecting the world and Canada as well. I have to say that I feel informed and prefer a quiet and tempered approach to this pandemic. Not only are provincial governments and the federal government appear to be informed, it feels like they are taking the right measure.

The bigger problem I see, is that some are already rendering judgment on the actions taken, without give each measure the needed time to take effect.

For those of you that want to get more information, here is a link to the Canadian Government website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html. Here is also the CDC’s website link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

Remember to wash your hands and let the politician do politics.

Be respectful and kind with the people that surround you.


Posted in quick thoughts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Did you get into a fight at Christmas by talking politics?

We all want to engage in democracy and talk to our family about politics and which party would be best, and who had the best program. However, no matter how you try to stay civil, someone will come in and just talk loud and call everyone else an idiot.

Try instead to talk about priorities. Ask you friends and family what is new in their lives and what are their priorities for the new year. This will inform you more about how they see there day to day and what is coming up in the months and years to come.

Priorities is what we need to assess before even looking at a political party and their programs. If you are the member of a political party, that is even more important because you could influence the party program and agenda for the next year and the next election. However, if you let big donors and business dictate what direction your party should take, you may lose site of your family and your own priorities.

Take a chance, and ask someone you care about what their priorities are.

Posted on by Marie-Agnes Pilon | 6 Comments

Minority government

At times a minority government may not feel like anyone their election. However, I have to admit that it feels like my vote has more power when there is a minority government in power.

The main reason I say this, is that with a majority government if you did not vote for that particular political party, it may feel like you have to wait four years before you have a say. Whereas with a minority government, even if the candidate you voted for was not elected, there is a good chance some members of that political party has been elected and may have the balance of power.

Time will tell how long the Liberal government will stay in power. I, for one, will be watching what gets done, who simply oppose to oppose, and who will work for Canadians.

Posted in quick thoughts | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment