To the editor;
Among the fallout from the recently completed civic elections in Toronto – a ballot that captured the attention of many Canadians across the country, and not just those in the greater Toronto area – was the fact that an astonishing number of people got out and voted. The morning after John Tory’s victory, officials reported that over 60 per cent of registered voters had exercised their privilege to vote, which was an all-time high. That is more than double the roughly 30 per cent of British Columbians who voted in the 2011 municipal elections here, a figure that was the lowest ever for our province.
What the Toronto election results showed us is that an engaged and passionate electorate will translate into greater numbers of voters; it’s really a pretty straightforward link. And that’s a very good thing for democracy, because it means that citizens are truly participating in the process, by paying attention to who is running and what those candidates stand for, and ultimately, helping determine the kind of society they want for themselves and their children.
B.C. residents have that same opportunity this coming Saturday, and I encourage you all to take a moment to find out who your local candidates are, and then make a commitment to vote. In many ways, municipal elections are decided on issues that have a very profound day-to-day impact on citizens – local zoning, waste management, community infrastructure, public safety, education – and it is critical that we pay attention to those issues and how they will be managed in future. There are literally millions of people worldwide who have never had an opportunity to participate in local elections, and millions of others who have been through truly life and death struggles simply to win that opportunity. Please don’t waste yours!
Federal Liberal Candidate
Cloverdale – Langley City