Municipal Musings

There is an election in the works in Ontario. I have voted in every election possible since turning 18 years old; Federal, Provincial, and Municipal. This coming election is a municipal election, and I plan to make my mark once more.

The trick this round is that I feel woefully unprepared to exercise my electoral rights. Who should I vote for? Never an easy decision to make, but this election feels more difficult. What do you do when you are uncertain about something though? Research. And that is what I have done.

Researching an Election

Last night, I attended an Awesomepreneurs networking event. It wasn’t my first event, but this one was a little different; a handful of Mayoral candidates were on hand to answer questions about their platforms and how they plan to benefit London’s business and entrepreneurial sectors. As I fall into the entrepreneur category, the evening was one I didn’t want to miss.

What visions do these gentlemen have? What experiences do they bring to the table? Are they personable and do their messages resonate with me? I have a little better idea now, thanks to well thought out questions delivered by local writer Jill Ellis.

Not that Ed Holder, Paul Paolotto, and Paul Cheng are the only choices for mayor on the ballot. Tanya Park is also in the running, but was unable to attend due to a previous engagement—she’s already part of the current council and was at a council meeting. That experience makes her another viable candidate on the ballot come election day. After a little more research, I discovered that several more names will be on the ballots come October 22nd as well.

Another important reason to do all this research has to do with changes to our local election this year; ranked choices voting has arrived to the Forest City. Instead of the first past the post, now we have the option to pick our top three candidates. So even if our first choice doesn’t win, we can still affect who will fill the job. It is an exciting time in Canadian politics and Canada will be watching to see how it goes.

Plus, my children are watching too…

Plus, my children are watching too. I have always taken them with me when I cast my ballot. We have discussed politics and how they affect us personally, not to mention how important it is to know what the issues are.

all-candidates meeting
All-candidates meeting at my local library

Last week, I took them to an all-candidates meeting for our ward, so I could make an informed decision on who to vote for counsellor. As much as some children would find the process boring, my two young ladies found the event interesting, especially when the hopeful candidates fielded questions from the audience. Politics affects everyone and our concerns need to be voiced and heard by those with the power to do something about it, whether it means a discussion on speed bumps on my street, or job creation and retention, or public transportation and how it affects jobs and our local economy. My voice matters. And my ballot matters too.

Have I decided who I am going to vote for on October 22nd? I suspect I need to do a little more research yet, but that is what I am good at. Who are the best candidates for the job and will they protect and support the needs of my family and community? We shall see, but I remain hopeful.

Have you decided who you are going to vote for yet?

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