Advance View: Vote first step into democracy

The easiest, fastest, and most important first step towards getting involved in the democratic process is to vote.

There’s certainly more to democracy than just voting, but it’s a good way to get started… and once you get into it, you’ll quickly realize that there’s more to voting than just casting a ballot on election day, too.

Voting only works – democracy only works – if you know something about the candidates who have put their names up for election. To do it right, you’ll need to pay attention for the next few weeks of election campaigning.

We’ll be offering you information about the candidates in our news and opinion columns. And many will offer some information about themselves through advertising, appearing at special functions aimed at bringing candidates and voters together, and perhaps in some cases, through some old-fashioned door-knocking or telephone calls.

The election signs that will soon start cropping up all over the place may seem annoying – but they really do serve a purpose: they enhance name recognition for the candidates, and they remind all of us that an important process that underpins our relatively free and open society is underway.

We’re not going to get into those trite condemnations, like, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,” or, “If you don’t like who you’ve got to vote for, then run for office yourself.”

In a real democracy, you always have a right to complain – although you’re whittling away at your own credibility by not putting full effort into your complaining. Besides, why complain when you can do something concrete about your concerns?

We know that not everyone can stand for office, either. It’s not everyone’s style, and it costs time or money that not all of us are able to muster. But if you do have the resources and the inclination, nominations don’t close until 4 p.m. on Friday.

Even if voting is the least you can do, it’s also the best you can do.

–B.G.

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Ball hockey fundraiser to honour Langley man lost to cancer

Annual tournament at UBC aims to raise $45,000 this year

Man found guilty of murder of Good Samaritan

Brad McPherson was murdered at a party early on the morning of Christmas Eve 2011.

Langley lacrossers roughed up 22-12 during Calgary stopover

Next Saturday, Feb. 24, the team hosts a Vancouver Stealth Experience, inviting guests on the floor.

Aldergrove welcomes new Community Association

Several dozen attend introductory meeting of new Aldergrove Community Association

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read