EDITORIAL: Don’t get voter apathy

It is no surprise to me that voter turnout was so low this year.

The numbers speak loud and clear. There werenearly half as many voters in this year’s municipal election compared to the elction in 2014.

There are some obvious reasons for this sudden decline in voters. This election was pretty boring. As it turns out, not many people are too fired up over issues in Golden, and it sounds like we generally enjoy how our town council is run.

If we didn’t, there would have been more people running for council, and more people causing a buzz around town about the elction.

Even the all candidates meeting was nice and quiet. I didn’t mind. As much as I love politics, it was almost more fun to sit back and hear about the communities that had too many candidates. The ones that were going crazy with the municipal election.

In Vancouver, their ballots were huge, with more than 100 people to choose from. I used to live in the city, so I heard from numerous friends what a pain it was on voting day. Some polling stations even set up chairs, because it took too long for people to mark their ballots. They actually had to sit down to go through the list of council and mayoral candidates. What insanity.

But, it shows that people care about the election.

Luckily in Golden, we only had a few important topics, and right before the election is a great time to start speaking up. We heard about small businesses, employee shortages, inclusivity, and a few other topics. Now, those six council members know where our priorities are.

It seems to me that each year, I would expect the percentage of voters to increase. Every year, we hear about how not enough young people vote, and everyone starts encouraging people to get involved and get educated in order to make an informed decision.

Just because our municipal election was low key doesn’t mean you get to rest your right to vote just yet. Everyone should receive a ballot by mail in the next month or so, asking residents of British Columbia to vote on switching from a first-past-the-post voting system to proportional representation. There has been a lot of talk about this for many months, and as the voting period comes closer, everyone is sending in their opinions about whether it is a beneficial system or not. There is still time to learn all about it, and ecide where you stand.

So, don’t relax just yet. There is still time to flex those democratic muscles.

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