This election is important: So where’s the public interest?
I have attended two meet and greets during this election one at the Lindsay Armory and one in Bobcaygeon at the community centre and I have to ask, why aren’t we seeing a better turnout at these events?
This is one of the most important elections we’ve seen in several years. We will see no less than five new councillors and a new mayor so I wonder why there doesn’t seem to be more engagement? With more than 71,000 voting constituents in Kawartha Lakes it’s alarming to me that we can’t fill a room. The turnouts at these events conveys the message that there are not enough constituents taking the time to attend or be engaged in the happenings of their own municipality.
As a 34-year-old woman with a young child it is my goal to be part of building the best opportunities for her growth where she lives. I think that engagement from younger constituents is extremely necessary. It may not be the popular opinion but our senior populations have blazed the trail long enough for us and it’s high time the torch be passed to new blood growing families here now. It’s us who will accomplish the positive change necessary our children growing up now.
It is time for young constituents to become involved in elections because they will be the faces of change for our future. I am pleased to see such a turn out of candidates who are new to politics, younger than we’ve seen in previous years with a fresh perspective to make positive change within our municipality. How do we engage new blood? I understand that the world we are living in right now is ever changing by way of advancements in technology. We are becoming more tech savvy than ever and have noticed there are a few running mayoral and council candidates with this idea in mind as well.
Is the new wave of elections going to be more based to the online community? If so would it be smart to offer an online video platform that supports these events to be recorded and uploaded so constituents can watch happenings from home. If we can’t encourage constituents to attend in person which would be ideal maybe we can at least catch their attention by allowing them to watch formal debates and meet and greets online.
I hope to see in this current election more constituents taking notice of the happenings within their municipality and using their voices to make the positive changes for growth that Kawartha Lakes desperately needs. The status quo we’ve seen in previous years for council is in dire need of a shake up and I feel that it’s going to take the 18 to 40 voter turnout to engage for that change to happen.
I appreciate that older constituents do seem to have the most interest but I encourage you to speak with your younger family members and friends about the importance for them to exercise their democratic rights in being more involved too. The older generations’ job isn’t done here; it is essential to groom future generations to understand the importance of being involved as so many of you have been in previous years .
Have these conversations with young constituents and entice them to want to be involved in positive change for the betterment of their future, just as you have paved the way for us in the past.
–Jackie Hellawell, Dunsford