Those who have seen the discourse on some local Facebook groups know that local politics can get petty on occasion. I won’t go into the specifics of the near-constant praising, campaigning and mudslinging, suffice it to say that there are several reasons you may vote for one candidate over another.
And you know what? That’s okay.
When one is up for public office, they will inevitably be judged on any number of factors, from years-old social media posts to what they ate for breakfast last Monday. While judgment – particularly during election can be seen as combative or uncomfortable, I would posit that it’s all part of human nature. Making judgments is an ancient survival mechanism that helps us suss out who to trust and who not to trust, which is of course instrumental in putting together a society.
As a community, our political engagement is very much a mixed bag. In the past four elections in Harrison Hot Springs, voter turnout is historically much higher than the provincial average, averaging 56.2 per cent voter turnout. On the other side of the coin, the District of Kent, the past four elections saw an average of just under 30 per cent.
While I hope to present as much relevant information about candidates as I can, it is not my position to recommend who you should or should not vote for. However, I will still recommend that you vote. While it’s true that this election cycle sees many incumbents running for re-election, there are opportunities for change in most offices, which is good for those who don’t approve of the status quo. Conversely, without your support, there are some incumbents that may not be re-elected.
You may not think it effects the outcome if you vote or not. This might be true in some circumstances, but wwhat difference could between 40 and 70 per cent of non-voters make if they cast their ballots?
If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, there are advance voting opportunities. In the District of Kent, you may vote Saturday, Oct. 1 and Wednesday, Oct. 5, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall (6800 Pioneer Avenue) and on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Harrison Mills Hall (1995 School Road). In Harrison Hot Springs, you may vote on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m .to 8 p.m. at village hall (495 Hot Springs Road).
The more voters who turn out to vote during this election, the more accurate the results will be when it comes to gauging the will of the people. I can’t force you to vote or not vote, but I will say I believe you’re doing not only a disservice to yourself but also to your community and your future if you decide casting a ballot isn’t worth the effort.
Don’t forget to have your say, and to all the candidates, best of luck.