I’m not the political reporter for this paper.
That would be Kristen Douglas, and she does an excellent job keeping this community informed of what’s going on not only at City Hall, but also at the Regional District Office and in the world of elected officials in general.
I will, however, get my last word in on what just happened in the municipal election before turning that beat back over to her, since I have this space available to me on a weekly basis to give my thoughts, and it’s kind of the most important thing that’s happened to us as a community over the past seven days.
First, I’d like to thank everyone who came out to vote.
The 39 per cent (rounded up) of you that were eligible to vote and actually did so braved the frigid temperatures (I think it got all the way down to almost freezing one of the three days you could cast a ballot) and the possible 20-minute lineups at the polling station last saturday to engage in your civic responsibility.
I hope it sounds like I’m being facetious, because I kind of am. I’m still disappointed in the 61 per cent of you who couldn’t be bothered, but in another way, I’m proud of the community in general in regards to their engagement in what is probably the most important aspect of their lives.
Around 30 per cent more people voted this time than three years ago, and we brought our numbers up above the provincial average from well below it the last time around.
What the reasons are for that increase is anyone’s guess, really, but I’d like to think it was because people were better informed than usual as to what the candidates who put their names forward stood for and their thoughts on various community issues, and that the Mirror had something to do with that.
(Don’t throw your shoulder out patting yourself on the back there, Davies.)
(Shut up, you, I’m not done.)
We got excellent feedback on our coverage of the lead-up to the election, our social media presence stepped up and was noticed by a non-traditionally-politically-engaged demographic, and our partnership with the Young Professionals of Campbell River in their attempts to reach a typically underrepresented group in political campaigns got a positive response, as well.
I personally tried to encourage people to vote by launching a campaign to donate one dollar to the local Food Bank per percentage point of eligible voters who cast a ballot, and was matched by three others. I was hoping for more people to jump on board, but every little bit helps, and maybe it convinced a few more people to go vote, too.
In any case, I’m happy for the people who the community chose to represent their interests over the next four years, because I truly believe they all have the community’s best interest at heart, and I sincerely hope the new mayor and council will listen to the wishes of those who put them there while making decisions on their behalf.
I also hope they’ll work together to make some changes for the benefit of us all. Because that’s what we put them there for. My last hope is that we can make another push in four years and get that voting percentage up yet again to have our say about what this council accomplishes (or doesn’t, as the case may be). Maybe I’ll get to owe the Food bank more than $40 next time.