Vote – and earn the right to complain

The races for mayor, council and school board are officially on.

The candidates in November’s municipal elections have filed their nomination paperwork. The races for mayor, council and school board are officially on.

The coming weeks will be punctuated by knocks on your door from candidates seeking your vote, flyers stuffing your mailbox, signs on lawns, all-candidates meetings in school gyms and community centres. Social media has entered the mix as well, with a number of forums posting questions to candidates and generating comments from both candidates and the general public. But how many voters will actually exercise their right to do so on Nov. 15?

In the 2011 municipal election, less than 40 per cent of registered voters in Salmon Arm cast ballots. Of the 12,982 eligible voters, only 5,108 actually went to the polls and marked their choice.

In our minds, that means that for every 10 people complaining about the state of Salmon Arm, six of them have no right to grouse because they didn’t even cast a ballot.

Weeding through the long list of candidates seeking positions on city council and school board can be daunting, let alone knowing who stands for what. But with new four-year terms, you won’t have to do so as often.

Those elected on Nov. 15 will determine how your tax dollars are spent, and how much you have to chip in each year. You should have a say in that. In this democracy, it is your responsibility.

– With files from Comox Valley Record

 

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