Shame On the Seven Out Of Every Ten of You for Not Voting in These Municipal Elections
A Brief News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and Publisher Doug Draper
Posted October 26thj.2022 on Niagara At Large
You can turn on the cable news any day of the week to reports of people in countries like Ukraine or Iran fighting for their lives to save or secure the kind of democratic freedoms we have here in Canada.
Countless millions of people around the world can only dream of having the right we do to go out and vote for the candidates we want serving us in government.
And yet when it came to exercising that previous right during these October 24th municipal elections, roughly 70 to 75 per cent of eligible voters across this Niagara region (and about the same percentage across the province) decided to give the right to vote a pass.
That, in a word, is SHAMEFUL!
It is a punch in the face to all those who fought for our freedoms in past wars.
It is also spit in the face to those among us who have taken the time to get engaged in the affairs of our communities, including those who have put their names on the line to run for municipal office, and those citizen activists fighting so hard for positive change when it comes to such issues as better transit services, more affordable housing, fair fees and taxes, and planning that respects what is left of our precious natural heritage.
Apparently these are the kind of issues that the majority of people in our municipalities who chose not to vote don’t care about or take very seriously. If they did, it is hard to believe they would not take a few minutes of their lives to go out to the polls.
One of the more disturbing things about pathetic turnouts like this is that it sends a possible message out to our municipal politicians, who make decisions that involve millions of our tax dollars, that they can more or less do what they want because most of us don’t care anyway.
As for all of those people who did not bother to vote, this journalist is tempted to take the following tact.
The next time I have someone contact me or show up at a gathering complaining about their property taxes or something else they don’t like around the way their municipality runs, the first thing I will do is ask if they voted in the last municipal election.
If they didn’t vote, I will be tempted to tell then “Shut up then. You have no right to complain.”
I will tell them to take a walk while remembering a very moving series of interviews CBC broadcast this October 24th voting day with new Canadians from countries where they were oppressed by brutal dictatorships who were so grateful for the opportunity to be able to vote for the first time in their lives.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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