I find it odd how the majority of people in my age range (let’s leave that vague and say 20 to 40) have zero interest in politics.
Yes, some of us have interest and are even directly involved, but for the most part, we would rather lend our attention to Hollywood gossip than the actions taking place in our own town, which directly affect us. In fact in previous federal elections, I’ve known numerous people to know nothing about our local candidates as they are too enthralled by all the scandalous stories in the American election coverage.
I understand voter apathy among this age range, as we are the generation that is most occupied by work, school, family and household chores. We are the generation who doesn’t have the time to clean the bathroom, let alone get out and vote in an election we know very little about.
But even if you haven’t picked up a newspaper, attended a forum or discussed the subject among friends, it is not too late.
It literally only takes a few minutes to vote, and polling stations are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. But, yes, there is more to it then just showing up and marking off some random names (and for all local votes you can choose up to six councillors and one mayor – if one is not already acclaimed).
Getting informed is a civic duty we have. Yes, we are all busy, but The Morning Star has made it all too easy with a special section from last Sunday’s paper. A special North Okanagan election coverage pullout was designed for all those who want to know a bit about each of the candidates but don’t have the time to go looking up all of the candidates. Here we have compiled a quick and handy read on all the candidates.
If you’ve since thrown out your Sunday paper, go online to vernonmorningstar.com/eeditions, and scroll down to Special Publications. There you will find the blue and red election tab – click to read.
Now some of us don’t actually have a vote in our civic area due to acclamation. Or perhaps you are so dumbfounded by the choices that you don’t feel comfortable voting.
But there are still other very important choices to be made Saturday.
One is school trustee. All regions except Lumby have a choice for school trustee. In Coldstream there are two candidates running for the one Coldstream seat. Elsewhere in the Vernon school district (which includes the electoral areas) there are seven candidates, but just four seats. There is also a race in the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district, for those voting in that region.
Another big decision to make is whether or not to approve the borrowing referendum for $70 million for the master water plan.
It’s something we have been told that we ‘have to have,’ yet many of our existing politicians have said they will not be supporting it. It seems to me a complete waste of money to hold this referendum, but regardless, it is still a choice we have.
Where ever you end up making your mark Saturday (or if you already have in the advance polls), be proud of your choices. And be proud that you educated yourself and got out and exercised your right to vote.
For those who are still shrugging off that duty, perhaps you should think back to Tuesday. Remembrance Day, whether you participated in that or not, was a day to be thankful for the ultimate sacrifices that were made on our behalf.
Our grandfathers, great grandfathers and so on, fought for our freedom.
Voting is just one of the democratic rights we have thanks to them.
So stop making excuses and exercise your right to vote. It is our duty to get informed and make a choice, which not only impacts us personally, but shows that we are thankful to those who fought for us and that their sacrifices were not made in vain.