To keep the present voting system or change to Pro Rep?

“How do we get people to (even) VOTE?”

To keep the present voting system or change to Pro Rep?

Yes, it certainly is a Big Question that needs to be answered.

However, shouldn’t the even bigger question be, “How do we get people to (even) VOTE?” That question and concern, and it should be a major concern for all citizens, has yet to been answered, let alone addressed. The challenge of increasing voter participation, and lack of voting in general is a major issue. An issue, that will in time, negatively impact and erode our democratic processes and weaken what is left of the world’s democracies. We need look no further than the U.S. and other western (world) democracies.

The percentage of eligible voters who take the time to cast a ballot is dismal to say the least. These percentages may run as low 30-50 per cent depending on regional areas, and the elections in various levels of government. A recent example of extremely low voter turnout has been in our municipal, local elections. Some areas recorded only 30 per cent (+/-) of eligible voters casting a ballot. This is a grave concern for all of us. Apathy in participation will eventually lead to a breakdown of the basic tenet and strength of the democratic process.

Though I WILL be voting in favour of proportional representation, I am well aware that pro rep, in and of itself will not be the answer to the bigger question of how to address the lack of engagement in the voting process. Having said that, maybe, approval of pro rep will be the “kick start” we need to get our citizens involved and committed to voting, to strengthening our weakening democracy. We must realize a change is needed, not only in government but in our attitudes toward participation in the forming of governments, and not just those “BIG” elections. Our, local municipal elections are as important as the federal ones. The local elections are really a fundamental ingredient, foundation of our democracy and all levels of our government.

Steve Frankel

Ladysmith

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