With time running out before the by-election coming up Saturday, it’s a suitable time to offer encouragement, and thanks to the candidates for the City of Castlegar council seat.
It’s often said that stats can be arranged to make any point a person wishes to make, but some are impossible to juggle enough to make a positive result. Such statistics relate to voter turnout, which, in just about every situation from federal elections to those for rural area directors in far-flung regional districts, is down and has been dropping steadily for a long time. It’s almost enough to sap the enthusiasm of anyone thinking of running, but the good news is, so far, at least, we have citizens among us who continue to answer the call.
The winner of Saturday’s vote will get a clear message from the electorate, even if the margin of victory is tiny – the message will be: ‘Time to get to work.’
Taking on the workload of a conscientious city councillor is a major commitment. How to balance it with everything a candidate has on their plate and do it justice is a tall order, and as always, there will be no shortage of onlookers willing to point out any instances where they may slip up.
For the time being our system appears to be holding up. We can only hope that someday soon there might be signs of a turnaround, a re-engagement of the majority when it comes to the political process. For that to happen, though, we’ll have to hope just as hard for a change in the process itself, one that suggests that the grassroots voters are as important as made out to be.