Exercise democratic freedom

By Darren Lum

The window of opportunity to serve your municipality has passed with nominations closing for municipal elections on Friday, Aug. 19.
Although a few races never got started (as outlined with the article, Here are your candidates for Dysart, Highlands East, your vote still matters.
Apathy is a dangerous to democracy, which robs us of what this country is built upon. We may not be the United States, with how its globally accepted country where freedom is king (although that perception is changing by the reality exhibited in the news), but we’re where we are for better or worse with how we vote. Yes, this system isn’t perfect, but its imperfections pale in comparison to how inaction is problematic when you let others vote for you. Why relinquish your power to others when it’s something you wouldn’t do in another context? Would you let someone else decide what you ate, or what you watched on television for the next month, let alone for four years?
Anyone eligible to vote needs to exercise their right. Don’t leave it to others, who may not have your interests in mind.
What we’ve seen in the last provincial election with the record lowest voter turnout is how it’s possible to have less than the majority of the population have their needs addressed over others. Unfortunately, that result and why voters are not coming out is what is indicative of what’s happening everywhere in the world.

Per a Pew Research article on their website (www.pewresearch.org), people around the world like democracy, but the commitment to it isn’t very strong. The article said “this lack of commitment is driven in part by the frustration many feel about the functioning of democracy, may be one reason some would-be autocrats and political entrepreneurs have been able to bend the rules and norms of liberal democracy with relatively few consequences.”
Democracy is need of reworking, but until that happens we need to exercise the power we have. Vote.
Figuratively speaking, what’s old is new again in Dysart et al.
After losing the mayoral race to Andrea Roberts in 2018, long-time past Mayor Murray Fearrey returns to lead Dysart like he had for decades while his friend and past council member (when they also served for two terms together) Walt McKechnie will join him at the top as deputy mayor.
Last second nominees Pat Casey and Tom Bailey in Dysart for Ward 1 heightens the competition, which includes Rob McCaig, and Pamela Brohm.
Highlands East past Mayor Dave Burton is being challenged by Cheryl Ellis while past councillors Cam McKenzie in Ward 1 and Ruth Strong in Ward 4 will resume the posts they held in the community for the past four years after there wasn’t any challenge. See the “Here are our candidates …” article for the full rundown of races.

Voting is the bare minimum.
However, it’s important your vote count and be made from a place with substance, so educate yourself about the candidates.
Learn about who you are voting for instead of going with who you know by name or after a memorable encounter. Candidates are not fast food franchises such as McDonalds or Harveys where the name tells you what you can expect to receive.
In the coming weeks, the Echo is working towards delivering information pertaining to the election, whether it’s the process or the candidates vying for your vote or the acclaimed candidates.
Voting matters. It is significant. Your opinion. Your vote. You decide who will sit in the council chambers to represent what you want to see happen in your respective community.