For many of us here in Canada, especially fo those of us in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, it is municipal election season … but, sadly, most of us will ignore that.
That’s a shame because, in so many ways, our local, village, town or city, large and small, government is the one that is most important to us and it is the one with we have can have the easiest interaction.
If you stop and think about it, the reason so many of us live to ripe old ages has more to do with the city engineer who provides us with clean, potable water and who disposes of our sewage and rubbish than it does with provincially funded hospitals and even with doctors and nurses and medical researchers and (s)he, that city engineer and her/his team are certainly more important t your health than all the people who work for Justin Trudeau and federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Equally, the future prosperity of Canada probably has, at the very least, as much to do with how well our local school boards performed than they do with the big decisions made by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz.
I’m lucky, I guess. I live in a medium sized city and we have real alternatives for mayor and, in my ward, for city councillor and school trustee. I don’t agree with all, not even most, of what the mayoral candidate I will vote for today proposes, but he is an acceptable alternative to the serving mayor who is, I think, well past his “best before date.” Likewise, I don’t agree with a lot of what my sitting city councillor says and does, but she has done and promises to try to do more of the right things than her opponents so I will vote to re-elect her. I’ve had to do a bit of digging to determine who I want to represent me in the school board in which I vote (we have a mixed, confessional based system here so we have four school boards: English Public and English Catholic and French Public and French Catholic) but I have a candidate who is, clearly, closer to my views than are any of the others.
The point is that, today, I will have a chance to make my choice about how I want my community to work. I have a right to vote and I believe that I have a duty to vote, too. I believe that local government is, at least, as important if not more important than our provincial and even federal governments … but we don’t pay enough attention to it. So, to my readers who can vote today, please do so … and to those who read my blog in places from Australia through Hong Kong and the Isle of Man, all the way down (alphabetically) to Zimbabwe, when it’s your turn, please vote, too.