Advance View: Elections need greater support

Congratulations and thanks are in order for all those who were elected, as well as those who faced defeat at the polls in Saturday’s civic elections.

There’s a road filled with hard work and difficult decisions for those who will populate the council and school board tables over the next four years, and we thank them in advance for that effort.

Thanks also go out to those who made the effort to share their vision for their community – we hope that those who were elected will keep some of your better ideas in mind when they make their decisions for everyone, and not just for those who shared their own visions enough to vote for them.

We’d like to use that old cliche – “the community has spoken” – but the reality is that less than a third of the community bothered to add its voice to this critical exercise in democracy.

We – and our colleagues at competing media – provided voters in both communities with a wealth of information about the candidates who put their names up for consideration.

“I didn’t know enough to feel comfortable about voting,” is a lame excuse, at best. And don’t waste your breath telling us, “I didn’t like anyone enough who was in the running.” Even if that wasn’t nonsense, you should have made that statement at the polling booth, handing in a ballot with as few choices as you wished – none, if that was truly how you felt. That way, you would have counted for something.

There was no lack of contentious issues. That’s clear from significant changes made in the make-up of Langley Township council – while voter-turnout inched up just four per cent, still falling short of one-in-three eligible voters exercising their franchise.

And Langley City… how sad is it that only one in five voters bothered to show up?

Plaudits to those took responsibility for their community’s future. But to the rest, the people who offer to manage the crucial business of running our communities deserve more support than that.

– B.G.

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