Royal City Bloggers and Journalists Agree: We Suck at Voting

Who really won the recent New Westminster 2008 municipal election? Not us, because we are a bunch of chumps that can’t make it to out to stuff a slip of paper into a box. Do we harbour some long hidden fears of elementary school gymnasiums? Terror at the nasty chance of an electoral paper cut?Read More

Who really won the recent New Westminster 2008 municipal election? Not us, because we are a bunch of chumps that can’t make it to out to stuff a slip of paper into a box. Do we harbour some long hidden fears of elementary school gymnasiums? Terror at the nasty chance of an electoral paper cut?

Our manifest idiocy has not gone unnoticed by the scribbling classes. Even here, at Tenth to the Fraser, we have noted our past 26.2% participation lameness. Now, with renewed evidence of our callous disregard for our franchise, Shelley Fralic boldy scolds us in today’s issue of the Vancouver Sun (Nov14, 08, A4) ,

In short, our growing pains, while an indication of a bright future and a solid economic base, are profound.

So you’d think the citizens of my town, who chose this place to live, would give a damn about what happens to it.

And you know, Fralic is not alone in her keen perception. She rightly points out that while New Westminster is the kind of town where you can meet with several generations on a bright day in the park and know all of them, we must reconcile that community spirit with the dearth of spirit that is made plain by this year’s dismal showing. Pat Tracy from the Record agrees in her blog and wants to cause a ‘hoofra’ of her own and call attention to the fact that with such apathy, even large families can sway a sizable portion of the poplar vote.

Strengthening the chorus of those who decry the poor participation, Niki Hope eloquently reminds us of what I have heard and also hold to be true, that:

It is pretty sad that so few people bothered to walk a few blocks to help determine how their hefty taxes will be spent and who will help guide their children’s education.

Now after that kind of drubbing, and from so many sources, come on citizens! I want to see you volunteering at the Shiloh Church food bank, donning an or joining a municipal committee. We owe it to ourselves to vote and further to participate in a meaningful way in our city. Dance with seniors, hug a hooded teen (or whatever); anything to ameliorate our mass participation in nothing on voting day.

Will Tomkinson

Will Tomkinson is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.

7 comments

  1. Don’t forget the UGM or the Salvation Army.
    I don’t think these 4341 people are going to change the term from 3 to 4 years. I think these candidates ran knowing they were committing to 3 years, not 4. What they might do is bring the 4 year term in 2011.
    What % of the eligible voters would 4341 be?

  2. Hmmmm….Be more involved….how about having the city show us they want us involved.

    It is funny how city works first they draw up a plan (engineer/consultants are hired) of what they want to do. Then they ask for public input. It is then up to the public to prove (to someone that is educated and knows more than the public does) that they do not have the right plan. If they are convinced the plan is wrong then more money is spent making a new plan. After 3 of 4 time of this then they say we don’t have the budget to do what we originally wanted.

    Today is Nov 21, there is a council meeting on Novemeber 24. where is the agenda? The agendas should be in the Record on the City Page the Wednesday before the meeting.

    Traffic well you find out about the new stop sign or signal when the crews show up to put them in. Have you tried to get traffic data for a road.

    Spending… why doesn’t the city show us what is being bought before they decide to spend the money. Request for Purchases should also be on the City Page.

    We just elected a mayor that is on a mission to finish what he started. Finishing what he started will involve spending lot of our money. Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.

  3. The cost of living in Canada fell by the most in almost 50 years last month the next thing is job cuts.

    Hope the cost of living in this city drops to.

    The Mayor is a good man but also a man on a mission. I hope he cuts his spending so he can cut our taxes.

    Maybe they should wait unit the real estate market bottoms out before they sign the deal on the waterfront property. Could save us a million or so.

  4. The Record should give the “Dumbest Electioneering Award” to Wayne Wright for handing out mulled wine to close to 200 parents from across the city. The chair of the police board (WW) and his accomplice, a medical doctor, should know better. I only hope it was dealcoholised wine. This was reported on TM’s blog on Nov. 5th.

  5. It was a tacky way for WW to be electioneering on Halloween night. Especially if TM was called to put the event in the Record.

    On WW part they where very (1oz) small cups and not being handed out to someone driving.

    As Chair of the Police Board it was not the appropriate thing to be doing.

  6. Somewhere I think I’ve advocated taking the vote away from people who don’t vote in two elections in a row. Hoping the idea is outrageous enough to provoke people into getting off their butts and doing their civic duty.

    I know it’s disheartening when your candidate(s) don’t win. But the only way they’re ever going to win is if their supporters get out there.

    Having said that, I was most amused during the last federal election that I got not one piece of campaign literature from the Liberals till election day itself – and the item I got was from a candidate in the adjoining Burnaby riding, so I couldn’t vote for him/her anyway. Tee hee.

    I was thrilled with the number of polling stations in the last civic election – tons of places for people to vote. Also impressed by the electronic vote scanning machine – which wasn’t there for the federal election (I got to vote both times at the New West Armoury/Regimental Headquarters).

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