OU VIEW: Give us a reason to vote

Electors’ first opportunities to vote in this fall’s municipal races on the Saanich Peninsula are coming up soon.

Electors’ first opportunities to vote in this fall’s municipal races on the Saanich Peninsula are coming up soon.

Advance polls are taking place Nov. 5, 12 and 13 at the municipal halls in Sidney (Nov. 5 & 12), Central Saanich (Nov. 5 & 12) and North Saanich (Nov. 5 &13). Normally, the advance polls are used by folks who wish to vote but will find themselves away from their community on general election day.

But there’s nothing stopping anyone — even if they will be around home on Nov. 15 — from taking advantage of those early voting times.

School trustee candidate Elsie McMurphy pointed this out as at least one argument against not voting this year. If people are worried about having the time to vote — or would just rather spend their Saturday with their families, for instance, they can try an advance poll on for size.

So, if a lack of time or bad timing is someone’s excuse for not voting, there are a couple of alternatives to help wipe that away.

Yet, there are always other excuses for not voting in this, or any other election.

We’re not going to berate anyone for this (although we like the idea of mandatory voting, as in the Australian example) but we’d like to know why people don’t vote. The old excuse “there’s nothing to vote for” really doesn’t fly because as we’ve been saying for some time now, democracy is a participatory activity and finding something to vote for is up to each of us.

So let us know — why are you not planning to vote on Nov. 15?

If you’re willing to share your reasons with us, we will ask the candidates right before election day how they would respond and encourage you to change your mind. No sense in them preaching to the converted, right?

With voter turnout rates being the way they are, it’s time the candidates spoke to those who would not bother to cast their ballot and work hard to give them a reason to do so.