Municipal elections are a bit tricky. You don’t have parties to fall back on. You actually have to listen to the candidates and judge whether or not they’d be good in the job. You have to work a bit.
It’s even worse in Waterloo, where there are five different races I’m asked to weigh in on: Mayor, City Councillor (I liked “Alderman” better, but I suppose gender neutrality is good), Regional Chair, two Regional Councillors and three School Board Trustees. That’s a lot of people to sort out. And then there are two plebiscites this time ’round.
Little surprise, then, that voter turnout is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25%.
I made the commitment, though, years ago, having made this place my home, to get more involved in local issues and local government. Politics I could live without, but it goes with the territory, I’m afraid.
I’d been hoping to get out to debates for all the races I have a say in and blog about them. The debate thing isn’t working out so well, with all the other things I have going on. I still want to talk about my process of coming to decisions, though.
It’s not so much to tell people who to vote for (although if I’m voting for them, I wouldn’t be offended if you did too), as it is just my way to encourage people to make up their own mind and participate in this process. That’s even supposing anyone’s reading. For me, doing this helps me sort out my decision-making process for myself.
I think democracy is important. I know a lot of people don’t particularly care about what happens at City Hall, so long as it doesn’t intrude on their lives too much. But I want this to be a great city. I think other people do too. It’s a little bit of work, but being informed about where you live and finding people to represent your values is a small thing that can help build the city you want to live in.
Also keep in mind that if you don’t vote, I can guarantee there are people who don’t share your values who are voting.
So get ready for a bunch of election-related posts. Unless I slack off and don’t get to them. And don’t worry, I only do this sort of thing during election time. It’ll all be over in a couple weeks, and then we can go back to our regular schedule of no posts.