OUR VIEW: Democracy’s a lot of work but it’s worth the effort

Congratulations to all of the candidates who stood for election to city council, village council, regional district and school board in Saturday’s local government elections.

Win or lose, your willingness to contribute makes our communities better by virtue of that simple act.

But the vast number of voters who did not exercise their democratic rights is a real concern. Only 25 per cent of eligible voters cast their vote in Saturday’s election. That’s down from 38.5 per cent in the previous election. Not good enough.

This year’s election was perhaps hampered by the lack of a mayoral race for the region’s biggest office – namely, Mayor of Campbell River – but that’s really no excuse. The mayor is, when all is said and done, just one voice – read: vote – on council. So, the individual councillors are just as important as the mayor is and have as much say as the mayor in crafting community legislation.

An election shouldn’t need a starring competition to fuel voter interest. We all know the importance of voting, yet some people continue to avoid casting their vote. Perhaps people don’t feel informed enough about the issues to cast a vote. There is a value in not voting if you’re not up to speed on the issues. But then it becomes incumbent on voters to know the issues and that is not just something to cram into a few weeks before the election.

Voters need to be aware of what’s going on in their community throughout the four years of their representatives’ term. And that means paying attention to the local news, attending council meetings (or at least reading about them) and public hearings as well as the myriad open houses for various projects, programs and plans.

Democracy is a lot of work but it is only you that benefits from it.

Just Posted

Road rescue near Sayward points to volunteer need

Fire department recruits can be tough for small, remote communities

Quadra hikers found after two days in the wild

Two women did not return from what was supposed to be an hour-long walk Wednesday

Hunter who saved man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in North Island woods

Man arrested in Campbell River following alleged getaway attempt

Suspect faces charges including dangerous driving; drug investigation ongoing

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom (updated)

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read