I am So Disappointed
I would like to discuss the Municipal Election that just occurred on October 26, 2022, in Manitoba. NOT THE Results of the Election, but the Participation of the Electorate, and the Candidates.
Given all that has and is going on in the World, I was anxiously watching the Municipal Election cycle in the Province of Manitoba, just a week or so ago!
I am not talking about the specific candidates or who won or who lost, I was interested in what the Public Participation rate would be, and how the candidates would present themselves to the public.
I guess I am a little naive, since the results shocked me!
Please read this post through to the end, as I tell the story of the municipal election in my area.
How does my story compare to yours?
My municipal riding is called the Rural Municipality of St. Clements.
We have a total population of about 11,500 persons, and the vote for municipal government is split into two parts into what they call Wards. Each Ward has a similar number of voters.
The number of people eligible to vote is also around 11,500 as it includes non residents who are eligible to vote.
So Ward One has around 5,750 Eligible Voters and Ward Two has about 5,750 Eligible Voters.
If you own property in the municipality, but are not a resident of the municipality you are eligible to vote.
The municipal council is made up of 6 Councillors, and One Mayor.
Three councillors are elected from Ward One, and Three councillors are elected from Ward Two.
The Mayor is chosen from a list of candidates that run in the entire municipality, so the same mayoral candidates in Ward One and Ward Two. The mayor represents the entire municipality.
If you live in Ward One, you get to vote for 3 of councillors from a list of candidates running specifically in Ward One. You also get to vote for the Mayor from a list of candidates, which run in the entire Rural Municipality.
If you live in Ward Two, you get to vote for a different list of 3 councillors from a list of candidates specifically running in Ward Two and you get to vote for Mayor from the same list of Mayoral candidates that Ward One gets to vote for.
I hope that is clear.....
I was amazed at how little participation there was by both the candidates and the voters.
There was no public debate or town hall meetings held in Ward One.
In Ward Two, a few days before the election, there was an "All Candidates Debate", that was held in one of the community centres to allow the public to interact with the candidates.
In Ward Two, there were three councillors who were seeking re-election and there were three challengers for those three council positions, for a total of 6 candidates for council.
The Mayor was also invited to participate in the debate.
So guess what, ....... NONE of the sitting councillors looking to get re-elected actually showed up! NOT ONE!
The sitting Mayor did not show up.
AND.......only around 30 voters showed up, out of a Ward Two electorate of around 5,750!!!
Guess what else!!!!!
The Sitting Mayor had no challengers, so she got elected without any votes, .... what they call acclamation.
Also, all three existing councillors in Ward One ran without any opposition so all three got elected without a vote being cast.
Now how about Ward Two, remember none on the sitting councillors (incumbents) showed up for the debate? All three of the incumbent councillors did not bother to show up to meet the people......they all three got re-elected.
None of the challengers got elected. You know the candidates that showed up for the debate.
So the sitting councillors, did not show up to the debate, but they still got elected!
Here are the specific results:
Oh there is more!
So......DO YOU WONDER WHY YOUR POLITICIANS DO NOT LISTEN TO YOU????
Out of an eligible voters list of around 11,500 voters only 3,266 votes were cast!
And in an entire Ward One, NO VOTES WERE CAST
Voter participation rate in Ward Two was around 57%
WHAT IS THE LESSON HERE!
Most of the electorate does not participate!
The Candidates do not participate!
And Somehow We Continue to Elect the Same People, and Expect that they will Represent Us.
They do not care because you do not care!
They will never listen to you, if they know you do not participate in the process, and you do not know what the issues are, and do not seem to care.
Sorry for the lecture, but someone needs to say something!