I recommend the Times-Colonist link below on why municipal elections (should) matter. As the article stresses, voter turn-out is often marginal in municipal elections and yet the issues that local governments manage have major importance to the quality of community life.
The writer also suggests that municipal or local governments are close to us and can have the greatest impact on us. He cites, for example, the importance of issues related to adequate public transportation and library services, both of which are provided by local and regional governments. He ends his article by asking us to ask municipal candidates when they last took a bus or used their library card.
For years, I commuted by bus between my job in downtown Victoria and my home in North Saanich. It was not only incredibly economical but also social. I met some wonderful people aboard the bus.
I also had the privilege of representing my community on the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board. I learned about the signficance of libraries in providing grass roots’ links to literacy for thousands of our citizens.
These are just two of the many complex priorities local governments must manage during a time of what I see as shrinking tax dollars, greater provincial downloading and voter apathy. But the fact is, that despite all the challenges and generally poor voter turn-out, we expect a lot from our local governments and from the people who administer them.
I believe that it is important, therefore, that we inform ourselves about who is running in this election, about their platform and about how committed they are to public service excellence. And we need to show up at the polls on election day.
In the end, I believe that we must all do our best to make sure that the candidates we elect have a clear vision (not just an agenda) and the skills and passion, to help build a bright future for our communities, in spite of the challenges.
I encourage you to visit the link below to read the editorial opinion on municipal elections.