In 2014, the voter turnout in Ward Two for Council was 29.04%. Only 6,389 votes were cast for the candidates running. Mayoral voting, across the whole city with a population of over 500,000 had 124, 550 votes cast and turnout was 34.02%. Was it any better for the School Trustees? You know; those people responsible for your children’s education? Not really.
That is astoundingly low. And what are some of the excuses we hear? It won’t make a difference. Not if you don’t vote! It’s too far, I don’t drive, I can’t take the bus. Did you know that any of the candidate offices will help you find transportation? I’m away/busy that day. Have you checked the dates for the advance polls?
And ask yourself now, are you satisfied with how the past four years turned out because you made your best choice. If you’re not, was your reasoning or decision flawed? Perhaps; but you tried. If you didn’t vote and don’t like what how things turned out, then you have no right to complain.
If this sounds like you are being chastised or asked to be accountable to yourself, your community and your city, you are! Hamilton has the potential to be even better and accomplish more. But we need you to choose the people who will make that happen. Good people are passed by because you didn’t take the time to check into what they might be able to accomplish or because you didn’t vote. It does make a difference.
In Ward Two we have eight candidates for Ward Councillor. Some are known to us and some are new. Some of them may be members of our communities or friends. It’s not easy sorting through the information and asking the questions but you need to know the answers. Remember that whoever wins will be representing you for the next four years. They are the person that you will need to advocate for you in your community to realize your goals. Ask yourself; what do I want to see? what are the issues that affect my neighbours and my neighbourhood? And ask them how they feel about those issues. If they don’t support your goals, how much can you depend on them to improve and support your neighbourhood. It’s a big ward with lots of plans on the table and each neighbourhoods has a unique need. And most importantly, listen to what they have to say, what they believe to be important. Their vision for a better Hamilton may be something you haven’t considered before.
There’s so much outcry now about the changes happening to our education system. We can’t fix that without knowing what each of the candidates believe in and how they intend to advocate for the children we are grooming for our future.
And the Mayor! Which of the fifteen candidates do you think has the overall expertise and capacity to lead our city through the next four years? Who has the overall knowledge and expertise to tackle the myriad of issues? And prioritize those needs to make our city better.
Many candidates are already campaigning door to door. Talk to them. Ask where they stand on issues that are important to you. Do you think that this person has the qualities needed to be successful as a mayor / councillor / school board trustee? Go to candidate meetings and debates. Read newspapers and check their on-line presence. And think about why you would vote for this person. If you can, check the article in the Spectator at https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8766679-here-are-the-aspiring-mayors-and-councillors-who-want-your-vote-this-october/. You’ll find many of their profiles there and answers to why they think they are the “right” choice.
At the end of these next four years, will you be happy with what’s been accomplished? You probably won’t be if you don’t take the time to ask questions, know the candidates and what their goals are. It takes time, commitment and a belief in your city to run for office. At least show these candidates that we are committed enough to take just a bit of our time and vote.
Municipal elections in Ontario are held on the 4th Monday of October every four years. In 2018, the Municipal Election day is October 22nd. There are also advance polls, October 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th and 13th. In order to ensure that you are on the voters list, you can check online at voterlookup.ca or call 1-866-296-6722.
Advanced Polling DatesAdvance Polling Dates