Well, it’s that time again.
The time when we ask you, dear citizens, to vote.
Perhaps “ask” is too subtle a word.
How about beg?
OK, we’ll go with grovel – we are grovelling on bended knee with tears streaming down our faces to get you to vote this Saturday in the civic election.
Sure, we’re debasing ourselves, but we don’t mind if that’s what it takes to get you off your duffs and into one of the convenient polling stations.
It’s embarrassing, really, that we have to do this. There are people in countries that don’t have free, democratic governments who have never had the chance to vote in an election. There are others who do get to vote, but in elections that are rigged by despots.
But not you. You live in a society in which your local government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold free elections. They advertise the dates in which you can vote and include a list of all the candidates.
They print up handy cards with all of the information. They even hold voting sessions on multiple dates just to make sure you have some options.
They hand it all to you on the proverbial silver platter.
And yet ... roughly three out of every four eligible voters won’t bother to take a few minutes every four years to mark a ballot.
It’s enraging, really.
It forces us to use precious space on our opinion page to grovel so you’ll exercise your democratic rights.
And it’s not like it’s for no reason.
Civic elections receive the lowest voter turnouts out of the big three elections, despite having politicians who are the most accessible out of those levels of government. Most months you can see them live right in your own community.
Then there are the things that civic politicians have some or total control over. Property taxes. Road infrastructure. Housing. Sidewalks. Recreation facilities. Schools. Garbage collection. Recycling. Community events.
You can’t seriously tell us you don’t care about those things.
Then there are the candidates. This year we have a diverse group of people who have put their names forward. They come from all walks of life and cover a wide range of the political spectrum. Some of them have been in power for a long time – maybe too long for your liking. Some are newbies on the political scene – maybe too new for you to feel comfortable with.
If you don’t think your vote matters, remember that some of these races might be really close.
Your single vote could be the deciding one for a candidate you like.
Our point is that some of these people are going to be elected, so you might as well take part in voting for those who seem to be worthy. Stay with the old guard you think have been doing a good job. Or help sweep in some new blood if you want changes.
Whatever you do, don’t sit at home.