Voting booth is the place to have your say

We don’t care who you vote for in the municipal elections on Saturday, but we do care that you head to your polling place and vote.

Actually we think that people should be required to vote.

We are fortunate enough to live in a democracy. We get to choose our leaders, and when we go to our polling places we are not threatened with violence.

A recent preponderance of attack ads in the media are an unfortunate trend cropping up on our Canadian political landscape, but nobody is getting bombed, shot or imprisoned simply for opposing those in power.

With all of these freedoms comes a responsibility.

As adults in our society, we believe we have a duty to find out about those who wish to lead us and pick somebody.

We’ve heard the idea of putting a “none of the above” choice on the ballot for those who find all of the candidates unpalatable. We concur. Include the option and make voting mandatory.

We essentially already have that at the municipal voting level, where you don’t have to vote for four or six councillors if there are only three that you can really bring yourself to support.

Turnout for municipal elections is usually low – lower even than the terrible numbers seen during provincial and federal elections.

We need to change that. These are the people who will decide many of the things that will impact your daily life for the next four years.

Municipal governments are in charge of everything from development permits to water and sewer systems.

Even your business and dog licences fall under their purview. Not to mention backyard burning and fireworks bylaws.

It’s a good idea to have some say before you run across an issue next door, down the street or in the larger community.

The place to have that say is in the voting booth.

Don’t know who’s running? Pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Citizen and take a look at our voter’s guide, a one stop shop for finding out about municipal candidates.

Our final advice for making your picks: choose candidates who have a vision for the future and aren’t just against the last guys.

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Submitting a letter to the editor is now easier than ever – you can do it online by going to the Cowichan Valley Citizen website, www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com, and clicking on the Opinion tab. Then click Send us a letter.

Write 300 words or less on the topic of your choice, include your full name (first and last), and a town you hail from.

Include a phone number (which is not printed) so that we can verify your authorship.

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