by Linda Cunningham
Saturday, October 20, 2018 is election day in British Columbia. On Saturna, there are advance polls on October 10 and 17, as well as the poll on election day, all at the Recreation Centre between 8 am and 8 pm. Saturna electors can also vote in advance polls at Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney and on election day at Richmond Secondary School. For those who can’t make any of the polls, a mail-in ballot option is available (see www.crd.bc.ca)
The question is why should we, as Saturnites, bother to vote in this election? There are many reasons not to bother because, for us, both our Island Trustees have been placed back in their positions by acclamation. We have a brand-new School Trustee, also proclaimed by acclamation. So, back to the question, why bother?
Sorry, but I am going to bore you with a smidgeon of history. When Canada was founded, the only folks who could vote were male British, Protestant land owners, over the age of 21. Everyone else was out of luck and had to take what came their way. It was really not until the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1984) that “Every citizen of Canada has a right to vote”. Not until 1984 – amazing! This a fundamental right of being a citizen of Canada. In their last federal election, our neighbours to the south had only a 58% turnout and look what they ended up with. Daily, people all over the world give up their lives to fight for democracy and the right to vote. Think about that for a minute or two.
You have two reasons to vote in this upcoming election. First, who do you want as our Capital Regional District representative? Second, do you want the Sustainable Health Funding referendum to pass or fail? I can hear you now – who really cares? You should. It is really important, a right - no, more than a right, a civic duty - to get out there and vote. Not just vote, but know for what and whom you are voting. Do your research, check out both the candidates for CRD, read all the information on the referendum and make your decisions. If you don’t know about the candidates or the referendum, go to the all-candidates meeting being held at the Community Hall on Friday, October 5/18 at 7 pm. Pot luck dinner starts at 5:30 - an opportunity to converse about issues and ideas with others.
You are eligible to vote if you:
· are18 years of age or older when you register to vote, or 18 years or older on general voting day,
· area Canadian citizen,
· havebeen a resident of B. C. for at least six months before you register to vote,
- haveeither lived or owned property in the jurisdiction in which you intend to vote for at least 30 days before you register to vote, and
- notdisqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election. (From Government of BC website).
Please get out there and vote in this election!!