I hear that in Russia this week, soldiers are going door to door “encouraging” people to vote in their so-called referendum – basically forcing them to vote in a certain way. In 2022! Appalling!
Luckily for us here, we can vote in any way we want in October’s local elections.
But will many even bother to vote? I hope so, because in reality, each of our votes can have more impact locally than in the bigger elections. It is ironic that usually, fewer people turn out for local elections than for either provincial or national ones. The issues might seem smaller here, but they affect us more directly.
If your biggest concern is, for example, the future of forest practices in B.C., this would seem to be a provincial matter. But the province is influenced by the towns and cities. And what about the trees that grow right here in Comox Valley? How should they be managed and by whom?
For my part, the climate crisis is uppermost in my mind. Of course, no single local government is going to turn that problem around. But my plan is to pay attention to the candidates for local election; attend the all-candidate meetings when I can, and ask questions that relate to the local aspects of climate change. For example: I might ask a candidate, “What kind of practical action do you see the council or regional district taking with regards to saving, preserving and restoring what little is left of our forests in our precious watershed?”
“How far are you personally willing to go to take action to protect forests and watersheds?”
“How do you see the council or regional district working towards changing privately managed forest licence regulations to better serve our community that depends on clean water and air that are threatened by extensive logging directly in and surrounding our watershed?”
Pick your own favourite issue. Look at your local candidates. Talk with your neighbours. And vote!