No Excuse to NOT Vote in Our Civic Election

No Excuse to NOT Vote in Our Civic Election

No Excuse to NOT Vote in Our Civic Election

“Bad Politicians Are Elected By Good People Who Don’t Vote” – William Simon

Less than 35% of Nanaimo residents voted in the last civic election.   Why are we so apathetic when it comes to municipal politics?  It would seem that Nanaimo is quickly understanding the importance of casting a vote, as more than 5,000 residents have voted in the advanced voting opportunities leading up to the general voting day (which is tomorrow).  I truly hope that people remain as passionate about civic issues as they appear to be on social media, and take the time on Saturday to make their voices heard through measurable and meaningful action.

I have followed the profiles of those running for mayor, city councillors, and school trustees, as many of my clients contacted me about concerns that impacted their neighborhoods.  With the election fast approaching, I felt I could better utilize this insight to identify candidates that I would be comfortable supporting.  I truly believe that Nanimo deserves a fiscally responsible style of government that is transparent to its residents.
In many of my weekly newsletters, I have touched upon the uprisings by the everyday person in Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (to name just a few countries), and how these people are sacrificing their lives for the opportunity to have their voice heard, and a chance to cast their vote in a political election one day.  I am grateful the men and women in the Canadian forces (both past and present) who serve and protect our great country, and those who have given their lives in the name of democracy.  This is especially close to my heart as Remembrance Day is only a few weeks away.

Many people have said to me they did not vote last election because there were no candidates who represented their
interests.  I gave some thought as to how best respond and came across this inspiring quote:  “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote” by William Simon.  It is true. Bad politicians are also brought into power when people do not appreciate the opportunity to vote.

Doesn’t voting take a lot of time?  I actually timed how long it took for me to vote last election.  Less than 5 minutes. This is LESS time that it took for me to drive through a lineup at Starbucks, order a coffee, and pay.  I was home in 20 minutes from the polling station – plenty of time for my coffee to remain hot, and still LESS time that it took for me to find a parking spot.  Voting is worth the time and effort.

How does the outcome of municipal elections really affect us?  Our property taxes, recreation centres, garbage, snow removal, and even our ability to obtain a permit to build an addition onto our home are controlled by City Hall.   Property taxes are used to fund things such as a the City Hall annex (which cost taxpayers $15.7 million dollars), Colliery Dam, tent city, multi-plex referendums,  and other projects.  Your vote does matter in determining how our tax money is spent and on what projects the City selects.  It also sends a message to our civic leaders that residents want to see meaningful engagement, transparency, and accountability.

Voting will take place this Saturday, October 20th.  Here is a link from the City of Nanaimo of voting locations, times and details:  Take the time this Saturday and vote.  Your voice is important and deserves to be heard.  “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” – Thomas Jefferson

We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards,
Brian & Myles McCullough

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