Remember that scene in “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan is explaining to Greg Kinnear why they should break up? She confesses to him that during the last election she went for a manicure and forgot to vote. That’s right, went for a manicure, and forgot to vote. Apparently this is more common that I would have thought as 75% of New Westminster’s population didn’t vote in the last election – were they at the spa?
Or perhaps they didn’t think the candidates they liked had any chance of winning, they didn’t do their research and had no idea who to vote for, or there were simply too many candidates to choose from. Maybe they don’t care about local issues, or they weren’t registered and couldn’t find their ID? There are a lot of reasons not to vote I suppose from simply forgetting to being too lazy on a rainy day.
Many people I talk to around the Lower Mainland haven’t given this election much thought yet, there are only a select few who have really been involved enough to read up, interact with candidates, attend debates, and monitor social media. Most will make their decisions based on who showed up at their door and what their campaign literature looked like, that is if they remember to go to the polls on Saturday at all.
So what’s going to get people out to vote? I thought about what incentives could be offered, maybe doughnuts or even beer. Would you show up to vote for a beer? What if the City offered everyone who showed up to vote an entry into a contest for cash? Or a $1000 credit on your property taxes? Free electricity for a year?
Nope, that would be a disaster. Imagine how many spoiled ballots there would be from jokers who really didn’t care in the first place and just wanted the free beer and doughnuts. Plus you’d have to apply for a special event liquor license, which if any of you have ever attempted know what a pain in the ass that is!
So, back to the drawing board. But let’s get serious about this. Why not attack this from another angle – what are you LOSING if you don’t vote?
If you don’t vote this election, I don’t want to hear a peep out of you for the next three years. I mean it, nothing: no complaints, no comments, no suggestions, NOTHING. In my eyes you will have lost the right to be invested in your community at all. If you find yourself wanting to gripe about recycling collection, traffic on Columbia Street or the price of ice skating at Moody Park, stop yourself. That’s right, you’re not allowed to say a thing, because you didn’t take the time to vote.
We are a community, New West consists of us. We have the power to affect change through the simple act of voting Saturday. And in a small community like ours every vote counts even more. There are lots of great resources on www.tenthtothefraser.ca, so no excuse not to do your research.
Want the right to complain? Then pony up! VOTE!
Helpful links on election day:
- Where to vote: Full list of polling places & other essential voter info
- Full list of candidates & links to their websites, Facebook pages and Twitter profiles