If you just don't know, don't vote

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
September 27, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: September 28, 2017 - 10:03am

KAMLOOPS — It’s common wisdom during elections that everybody should get out and vote.

With a civic by-election coming up in Kamloops on Saturday, the one thing candidates can agree on is that a high turnout would be a good thing.

I have a different opinion. My impression is that the vast majority of Kamloops electors just don’t know who to vote for, because they don’t know most of the candidates.

Nobody can blame them for that.

There just hasn’t been enough time. There’s a reason nobody else holds elections in September, and it’s because communities don’t begin thinking about regular life until the middle of the month.

Holding a vote on the last day of September has deprived candidates of a proper opportunity to get their word out, and has equally deprived voters of a proper opportunity to get to know them.

I hate to be a pessimist — at least I hate to be a pessimist all the time — but I’ve seen no indication that the turnout for this exercise in civic democracy will be anything but pathetic.

There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that the campaign hasn’t caught fire. It’s been like a glass of warm milk before bed-time.

The other reason is that thing about getting to know who the candidates are and what they stand for. Just not enough days available for homework.

So, voters will simply stay home. And I’m totally with you on that.

If between now and the end of Friday, you can go online to various news sources and get familiar with candidates, excellent. I would also recommend, by the way, watching and listening to the video interviews done by the chamber of commerce and TRU Students Union.

Reading about somebody, and hearing and seeing them are different things.

If you can’t do that, if don’t know who to vote for, then stay home and rake some leaves or go downtown for a latte. Nobody can hold it against you, because the only thing that’s worse than not voting, is voting in ignorance.