Citizen Voice group trying to get people out to vote

The Comox Valley Citizen Voice Project (CVP) will host an open house Sept. 8 to launch its fall campaign.

Everyone is invited to the Florence Filberg Centre, Seniors Lounge at 7 p.m.

The Comox Valley Citizen Voice Project (CVP) will host an open house Sept. 8 to launch its fall campaign.

Everyone is invited to the Florence Filberg Centre, Seniors Lounge at 7 p.m.

The municipal elections will take place on Nov. 19, not only here in the Comox Valley, but across all B.C. The CVP’s goal is to get more people out to those polls.

Only 31 per cent of Courtenay’s 10,000 voters bothered to state a choice in the 2008 elections. The CVP doesn’t believe that should be acceptable to either our fellow citizens, or to the Valley’s elected representatives.

“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that’s missing a majority of its pieces,” explained Angela Burns of the CVP.

“We aren’t going to get the whole picture. A representative democracy where 70 per cent of the people don’t vote, can give elected councillors an unclear, or distorted, impression of what’s important in the community.”

“There are number of theories why people are not voting,” states Brian Charlton, another member of the CVP executive. “Some are marginalized by poverty, or by having to work two or three jobs. Those people are simply in survival mode. They often feel there’s no benefit to them to become involved, even if they had the time.

“Some people were involved in the past, but for a variety of reasons have become cynical about the whole process. We in the CVP do not buy into the apathy argument.

“If people are staying away, it is for a specific reason. The key is to find out what those reasons are and to change the system so it becomes not only more accessible but also meaningful.”

“The work of the CVP so far has been to find out what is important to Comox Valley citizens. We will continue with that work. Our open house will launch the fall campaign.

“We’ll report on the results of the 600 surveys done so far, introduce our two new organizers, Susan MacVittie and Dan Vie, and explain the council report cards.

“So come join us on Sept. 8 — and lend your voice to the promotion of government that matters.”

To find out more about the CVP, visit their new website at www.citizenvoiceproject.ca.

— Comox Valley Citizen Voice Project

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