Our View: Engaging voters a tough task

West Shore voters will be waiting with bated breath for election results on Saturday, or at least about 25 per cent will.

West Shore voters will be waiting with bated breath for election results on Saturday, or at least about 25 per cent will.

The typically dismal turnout for civic elections is shocking and puzzling, considering the gang that gets in can most directly and immediately impact a resident’s life.

Rural Metchosin and Highlands people tend to vote proportionately more than urban Langford, Colwood or View Royal, but the kind of lineups and hype reserved for provincial and federal elections rarely materializes for the most basic level of government.

It’s interesting that many election campaigns of candidates across the West Shore municipalities touched on accessibility, transparency and openness — the idea of getting citizens more engaged in civic decision making. This is a theme for many civic elections, and is much easier said than done.

Getting citizens to sit on advisory committees every month is hard enough. Getting large groups of citizens to sit through proceedings in council on a regular basis seems next to impossible.

We can only hope that the incoming councils can do more to make civic politics relevant and accessible to their citizens’ busy lives. As a few candidates pointed out, getting more information on municipal websites in quicker, easy-to-find ways is a good place to start.

At any rate, there will be plenty of excitement Saturday night. With the debacle of Colwood’s two simultaneous “all-candidate” meetings and a three-way mayoral race, that contest, along with View Royal’s heated three-way mayoral race, will be the ones to watch.

Despite few new candidates, Langford too will be interesting, if just for the level of opposition votes directed away from incumbents.

Metchosin, with a mix of old and new faces vying for seats, is one of the rare communities that regularly draws an audience to council.

And don’t forget to vote for school trustees — they steer the educational policies and programs that impact thousands of children and hundreds of jobs.


Just Posted

Number of SD62 kindergarten registrations about same as last year

Approximately 850 kindergarten registrations for 2019/2020 school year

28 years later: Dunahee disappearance remains largest investigation in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

City of Langford mails out information on sewer connection requirement

Plan lays out obligations, exemptions and financial assistance information for the costly hookup

Update: BC Transit driver taken to hospital with serious injuries after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read