I write this correspondence with a very heavy heart.
I was one of thousands of citizens in Alberta who, in the past month, exercised their right to show support for the political party of their choosing by posting signs on their property.
On Monday, my two signs were vandalized. One was ripped off my fence and thrown in the alley; the other disappeared from my lawn.
To say I was upset that someone would interfere with my right as a citizen is an understatement. I reported the incident to the RCMP and called my constituency office to see if I could get more signs.
In fact, I was able to acquire six more signs, which I posted around my property. On election day, in the evening, two more of my signs were vandalized.
I found them folded up and stuffed into the garbage can of the park located across the alley from my property. This was not the act of a child, as the large sign is very hard to handle. Again, it was reported to the RCMP.
I have voted in every provincial and federal election since I was 18 years old – almost 48 years. You see, my grandfather, who passed away before I was born from lung cancer as a result of mustard gas, served with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in the First World War to fight for my right to vote in free elections in Canada.
Then, in the Second World War, one of my uncles fought with the Calgary Tanks. Yet another lied about his age (16) to join the Merchant Marine, and yet another was training to be a pilot when the war ended.
In my childhood, I grew up in a small village where all the “return men” were treated with respect and dignity, because if I didn’t understand, my parents and school teachers certainly educated us about what this “greatest generation” had done for us.
Also in my childhood, I saw my brother and three sisters all join the Canadian military. They were all willing to fight and die if called upon to protect my right to support and vote for whomever I choose in elections in Canada.
I owe them to not take this right for granted. I owe them all for the freedom I enjoy today.
So for me to have these rights trampled on by someone committing a criminal act is abhorrent. For someone to even think it is their right to vandalize my property, and try to intimidate me by violating my voting rights, is unthinkable.
The first time was bad enough, but to commit such a cowardly act a second time was shocking but, quite frankly, not a surprise.
They didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to knock on my door and express their displeasure with my signage and talk about the election to my face, so why wouldn’t they commit a criminal, cowardly act?
An attack on me and my rights is an attack on all of my family, and indeed, all of those brave men and women throughout our history who have been willing to fight and die to ensure those rights for all of us.
Further, I would suggest that if this coward doesn’t believe in those rights, and doesn’t like living in a country where free elections take place, then this coward should move to any number of countries on this poor earth where there are no legislated voters rights, because the citizens are not allowed to vote.
JoAnne Korosi is a Red Deer resident.