Karzai wants you

Array

On Thursday, citizens will drive to a local school, grab a pencil and jot a check mark next to someone’s name.

If you take a moment to ponder your decision, it takes about two minutes – at most – to fill out the ballot.

Then you walk to your car and drive home.

Easy.

Yet time and again, we are told, often by the media, that Canadians don’t want an election.

Why is that?

Is it even true?

People seem to like elections. They listen to debates, volunteer, write letters, talk, argue and generally think about society for a moment.

Many actually wake up.

An election represents a compression of time.

For a couple of weeks, society is in a hurly-burly of discussions about taxes, sewer and water systems, parks, transit, roads and snow clearing, lot development, lot size, pollution and waste management, animal control
… the list is extensive.

They should be on the radar all the time, but they aren’t.

A municipal election represents a do-over, a chance to catch up and evaluate the goings-on over the past three years.

These are tough issues. Politicians have to boil their responses down to their essence, delivering almost an intuitive knee-jerk answer to most questions.

The incumbents are seasoned and nuanced. The first-timers eager and often naive.

The voter has to decide which best represents their future.

Sometimes the issues seem a bit shopworn.

And that’s because they are.

We were reviewing our coverage of previous municipal elections.

The most discussed issue in 2003 was transit. People wanted a better bus service. It ran every 70 minutes, and people called it useless.

Today, in 2009, people still want better transit. The system, many believe, is useless.

But, by one measure, it is twice as good as it was back then. Today, the buses run every 35 minutes.

Of course, it begs the question, “What kind of knuckleheaded, bean-counting bureaucrat is fixated on a 35-minute sched, which makes it impossible to know when the next bus is coming?…” but we digress.

Believe it or not, there has been progress.

Is it done? No, that’s why we vote.

But if the local issues seem a bit run-of-the-mill, that’s because our society is relatively well-off and peaceful.

It’s a measure of how good we have it, really.

Afghanistan, which recently voted, faces far more difficult issues.

There, people voted by the millions despite the threat they’d be blown up.

And the incumbent is stuffing ballot boxes, making a mockery of the whole process even while our troops are dying to give citizens a shot at casting a ballot for their future.

Here, it runs like clockwork. No violence or intimidation. No lines.

Just a pencil and paper and a couple of minutes.

Simple.

Despite this, far fewer of us are exercising our right.

That’s a crime.

If you care about transit. Or dogs. Or fees. Or parks. Or referendums. Or taxes. Or garbage collection. Or recycling. Or homelessness. Or economic development. Or business development. Or handicapped access. Or

snow removal. Or street sweeping. Or public access to drinking water. Or water metering. Or lot size. Or downtown parking fees … or whatever else you care to imagine, take two minutes and vote.

If you don’t, well, perhaps you should move to Afghanistan. There’s a president there who wants more people like you.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read