Howling at the Moon – Election fever

Filed under: Opinion |

 by Sylene Argent

Every day I feel the heat of the upcoming elections getting hotter. Already! Oh boy, I’m ready for the show.

We will have a municipal election and provincial election next year, and we are gearing up for a by-election in Ward 4 of Essex to replace Councillor Bill Caixeiro, who handed in his resignation a few weeks back.

A few of my favourite phrases from politicians at any level is, “I’m listening to concerns,” and “I’m concerned for taxpayer dollars.”

Both phrases sound good to the ear and read well in print, but, unless they are followed up with a plan of action on the matter, they are just words that sound good that make us feel listened to.

Sometimes, elections remind me of high school. The most popular kid, who had charm, would be elected by his or her school peers to be their class rep on Student Council. I hope that when time comes to putting an “X” beside a candidate at the voting polls, we will not just listen to their words, ideas, and promises, but take into consideration what their plans of action would be. And, if a candidate has sat as a dignitary before, I hope constituents will take into consideration how much change for the better that person implemented and how vocal that individual was on issues of concern.

We need some real ingenuity moving forward; some real out-of-the-box thinking to help individuals, families, and business owners who are all feeling the pinch, I’m sure. Judging by what I hear and read on social media, people still feel it is getting harder to pay the bills, to find decent paying jobs, and have a hard time combating the rising cost of living.

It is going to be very interesting over the next year as we prepare for the official launches of the provincial and municipal elections, and I am curious to see what the voters will voice and what kind of turnout we will have at the polls. I hope voters will be very engaged in the elections, as candidates could make the decisions that will impact them in one way or another.

I understand that many people find elections to be boring or confusing. But, perhaps we can akin campaigning to reality TV to get those people interested. There really are a lot of similarities between the two. We either have individuals or parties vying to win a prize in a public setting. Sometimes outlandish things are said about opponents, sometimes candidates can be devious, and good old-fashioned debates can really get intense and sometimes include child-like behaviour. There can be some entertainment value in following elections closely, of course that is the bonus to keeping informed.