Sunday, June 23, 2024
June 23, 2024

Editorial: Voting homework worth it

Low turn-out rates in municipal/local government elections are often decried.

But it’s understandable for people to shy away from voting when they don’t know the people, their positions or the burning issues.

While the last advance poll day is today (Oct. 12) and general election day is on Saturday, there is still time to get more information in order to make more confident and informed decisions before facing the long ballot sheet at the polling station.

Salt Spring voters must choose between three candidates for one Capital Regional District (CRD) position, seven candidates for two Islands Trust seats and five candidates for three school board positions, and are being asked for approval to establish a CRD local community commission (LCC).

One of the best ways to get a sense of the candidates is to watch the video of last Thursday’s all-candidates meeting at ArtSpring. Whether illuminating policies, philosophies, experience levels or character, seeing and hearing individuals speak to a crowd in such a format is somewhat like “speed dating,” noted meeting moderator Aletha Humphreys. People can be drawn to vote for a particular candidate for any reason and all of them are valid.

We are grateful to the non-profit group Salt Spring Forum for partnering with the Driftwood to present the event and arranging for Cameron Byers to take care of the videography. We congratulate Humphreys, all candidates and audience members for creating a civil evening of discourse. A video of a Sept. 28 Zoom all-candidates meeting hosted by Salt Spring Solutions and Transition Salt Spring is also on the transitionsaltspring.com website.

Ample written information is available online as well, on various social media and candidate sites, and the Driftwood website. A compilation of opinion about the LCC proposal, including a couple of pieces that did not make it into print, is one of the elements of the Driftwood’s online opinion section. Another is candidate answers on housing issues posed to them by the Salt Spring Housing Council, and Q&As with all candidates. It’s also helpful to know what powers a government body or elected official really have to make changes.

Democracy always works better with more participation. It might take a bit of time to make an informed choice, but it’s worth it.

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