STAHN: Even our goals for voter turnout are sad
By Jennifer Stahn
(JENNIFER STAHN / iNFOnews.ca)
September 05, 2014 - 7:53 AM
In the 2011 municipal election less than 30 per cent of eligible people voted in Kamloops. This is a typical trend across B.C., and even the country, in most municipal elections.
To break it down into very simple terms, less than a third of people chose to speak up when it mattered most.
Nearly everyone has an opinion when it comes to how our city should be run, and they tend to voice it often on Facebook, Twitter and online forums. Yet it seems few people can muster up the strength to go mark an ‘X’ on a ballot one day every three years (every four years as of this next term.)
In an effort to increase voter engagement a group of concerned citizens has formed Kamloops Vote 50, a group dedicated to increasing voter turnout to 50 per cent in the next municipal election. That would put Kamloops in a league of its own — no other city in B.C. with more than 10,000 eligible voters hit the 50 per cent mark in the last election.
That would also mean an increase of more than 14,500 people at the polls this November. That is an admirable goal. Some might even consider it a lofty goal. I consider it sad. It’s sad so few people care enough to actually vote and that it takes a group of citizens to remind people when and where to vote (especially when that information is all readily available on the City of Kamloops website.)
If all the people who ever commented about what city council has done wrong or how money should be spent in the city actually voted, we could easily surpass 50 per cent, instead of only hitting the 28-34 per cent voter turnout we typically garner in Kamloops.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014