EDITORIAL: Municipal elections take the spotlight

Voting is a big responsibility and there is an obligation to take it seriously.

After almost two months of guessing, predicting and analyzing, the deadline for candidates in the 2014 B.C. municipal election is almost here.

On Friday, at 4 p.m., prospective  candidates will no longer be allowed to file their nomination papers. That means at 4:01 p.m., voters in all areas of B.C. will finally know who is running and for what political positions.

Following that are five weeks of crazy fun, also known as the election campaign. That means all-candidates meetings, photo-ops and plenty of promises.

While federal and provincial elections seem to get all the glory, local elections actually have the most impact on the common person’s life.

Think about it.

Federal foreign policy may be interesting and provincial budget balancing is also important, but it doesn’t normally impact you as much as changes to your property taxes or alterations to your garbage pickup. The people you elect on Nov. 15 have a direct effect on your daily lives. They have the  power to raise your property taxes, to decide whether to pave a road or allow you to build an extension to your home.

Voters get to choose who will make important decisions about their children’s education and to decide who will be their voice in the community.

It’s a big responsibility and an obligation to take it seriously.

Community newspapers also have a huge role in civic elections. While the Vancouver-based media outlets may cover some of the outlying areas — Surrey, Richmond or even Langley — you aren’t going to read about candidates in Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos and other neighbouring communities anywhere except your local paper. This is when local journalism puts its best foot forward and brings the important local issues to local residents.

It’s our job to keep you informed. It’s your job to vote.

-Black Press

 

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