Voting is just the beginning

Tomorrow, you head to the polls. Again. There are plenty of issues to knock about as you stroll through the slush to the city’s voting places…

Tomorrow, you head to the polls. Again.

There are plenty of issues to knock about as you stroll through the slush to the city’s voting places … like, what should I have for dinner?

Does the kid play at Takhini Arena or the Canada Games Centre?

Is the Visa paid?

And is Lost on tonight at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.?

And what channel is it on? Is the VCR set? Damn!

But hang on. Before you sprint home, remember there’s an election on.

You can be excused if you’re a bit detached from this one. If you consider this exercise a bit esoteric.

It has been, after all, an eight-day campaign smushed into the shadow of the territorial election.

That’s not a lot of time to work out how the candidates will tackle residential and commercial development.

Is putting what is to be a concrete batch plant downwind of one of the most populous residential subdivisions a good idea? Or should it be placed upwind of the city, as is done in most southern cities?

And how do I vote to affect this?

Is that favourite greenbelt — you know, the place you can walk the dog without a pocketful of plastic bags — going to be razed for a housing development?

Deeper question: Should it be razed to preserve the wilder boreal forest that skirts the city?

Still deeper question: If it’s razed, can the wolves, bears, deer and moose still get to the Yukon River, and beyond, without jumping my neighbour’s fence? How?

And if not, how is this going to affect my neighbourhood? My kids and cats? My garbage stash? The wider city environment?

Here’s another. These days, why do citizens feel the need to buy bottled water?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to sink a little more into the tax pool to improve the purity of the municipality’s water supply for all, instead of pumping money into the coffers of the for-profit multinational water industry?

And why does the city insist on repaving Second Avenue and Two Mile Hill every second year, while ignoring Fifth and Sixth for the last decade? What’s with that, anyway?

What’s the plan to bolster the city core, so it doesn’t die?

Is the big-box revolution going to roll on? How does that impact global warming?

And what about that transit system?

And, speaking of transit and green initiatives, is the city’s trail and bike system, which has been gradually improved, going to see more refinement? Or will it fall off the agenda?

And these are just a few issues rattled off over a single large coffee. There are dozens more.

So how do you deal with them tomorrow night?

You don’t. Not really.

Tomorrow night, you choose a mayor and six councillors to make the decisions, that’s all.

And there’s a clear choice. Incumbent or newbie.

After that, the responsibility really kicks in.

Between hockey and soccer and dinners and lunches and homework and theatre and volunteering and work and overtime and spouses and lovers and Lost you have a responsibility to keep abreast of city issues.

To contribute.

Thursday night simply represents the culmination of three years of work, and the beginning of three more.

Is the city in good shape? Or not?

Your first responsibility is to vote.

But that’s the easy part.

It gets you in the game.

And that’s all it does. (RM)

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