Get out and vote
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 06:00 am
Municipal elections are notorious for voter apathy.
In the last Cochrane municipal election a mere 33 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot. In the city, less than 30 per cent of voters went to the polls.
Those statistics are not only shameful they are surprising in how they demonstrate a complete lack of common sense.
It can be somewhat understandable when provincial and federal elections see low voter turnout. The scale involved at those levels of politics can seem a bit daunting and too broad for a single person to affect much change over.
Municipal politics are an entirely different beast however – it is the level of government that matters to us the most by affecting our day-to-day lives.
How much we pay to live in our homes, when our garbage is picked up and how, the cost of our water, the kinds of businesses that set up shop, the recreational opportunities available to us and to some extent the types of people we call neighbours.
Town council undoubtedly has the most influence on our lives, yet people seem to care the least about the people who are making the decisions.
Governing a town, especially a small town, might seem like small potatoes to some people considering it is only a part-time position, but the decisions are by no means unimportant.
There are a lot of major decisions that will be on council’s plate over the next four years – traffic, growth, business development – that will shape the future of this community and Monday is the day residents can voice their opinion by electing candidates whose ideas support their vision for Cochrane.
Hopefully Saturday’s advance poll is an indication of voter interest this year. Almost 50 per cent more people voted in this year’s first advance poll, compared to the one advance poll available during the last election.
The town should be commended for adding voting options this year in an effort to increase voter turnout.
Those increased options also mean there is very little excuse for people to not vote on Monday.
There are 15 candidates running for council and three for mayor, which means there is enough choice that voters can set a strong mandate by the candidates they select.
We encourage all eligible voters to get out and vote and to make those votes count. Cast ballots for people based on their experience, knowledge of the issues and feasibility of their solutions. Don’t vote based on personal popularity, insubstantial populist ideology or without taking the time to be informed.