Why are so many people opting not to vote...
I've written about this numerous times in my Waterloo Chronicle article.
Like most other things in life, in my mind, voting comes down to one of two things....ability, and motivation.
Ability seems to be a non issue here. There are lots of polling stations...they are open for significant hours. There are plenty of advance polling options. They begin in this election on October 8th and 9th. You can get more information about that via the City of Waterloo website at http://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/info-for-voters.asp
In 2010, just over 30 per cent of the voters turned out in Ward 2. That was the lowest percentage among all seven wards, not surprising in some ways, since there was no race for a ward councillor.
However, those numbers could have been inflated, since we had two intriguing ballot questions, one about the addition of fluoride to the water system, and the other, fairly regular question over the years about merging Waterloo and Kitchener. Those emotional discussions certainly brought people out.
This time, there is a choice for councillor. . Helen Kaluzny, Hardy Willms and Janice Moore all deserve appreciation for standing up and wanting to make a difference. Democracy simply cannot function unless there are people willing to place themselves in front of voters.
That should certainly add to the number of people turning out.
At the end of the day though, I believe people are motivated to vote if they think their voice makes a difference. And I think we have all heard, even said ourselves, how voting is a waste of time because nothing ever changes.
But it can. And it starts with you. And your neighbour. And your children.
Walking away from an issue because nothing ever changes will only ensure ...well.....that nothing ever changes.
I will never tell you to vote because you have to, or because it's your civic duty. I want you to vote because it is important to you. Because you believe having a voice is still makes a difference in making our neighbourhoods and our city better. So get informed and make the best choice possible.
And if you're disillusioned and tired of what you see, and can't bring yourself to vote, I would love to hear from you. Because that opinion matters too, and I'd like to try to change it.