Polls, turnout tell us final days could decide referendum

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
December 5, 2018 - 6:33am Updated: December 5, 2018 - 11:42am

KAMLOOPS — THOUGH I’M NOT A MEMBER of any political party, I quite often receive emails from one of them urging me to take action. “Mel,” the message usual begins, “the time to take action is now! We can’t let the bad guys win!”

They don’t actually use the words “bad guys” — they’re talking about the other parties. I mention this because this is a time to take action. After a one-week extension, the referendum on proportional representation comes to a halt at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

At this writing, the ballots from roughly 39 per cent of eligible voters have been received.

According to polls, the race is a dead heat, and that means ballots returned in these final days could make the difference.

In this brief time that’s left, forget about all the acrimonious campaigning, all the fear-mongering, all the talk that one system or the other will result in a better economy or a worse one, a stable democracy or a shaky one.

Each side has chosen its facts and its arguments to support its own vision. And the fundamental fact is, neither side has all the answers. Both are imperfect.

The big question is, what’s your personal vision of how our democracy should work? One big part of the answer is that for democracy to work, we all have to take part in it.

And since time is short, it might be a good idea not to depend on Canada Post. Ballots can be submitted in person at the Kamloops office of Service B.C., 250-455 Columbia St. until the deadline, or check out the Elections BC website for all locations.

The time to take action is now. Don’t let the bad guys win.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at [email protected].