New council must ask, why is voter apathy on the rise?

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor: 

While it is important to give congratulatory recognition to the winners in the recent election, it is also important to note that the voter turnout was a mere 38 per cent of the total electorate. 

That means, for example, that the new mayor was elected by approximately 20 per cent of the eligible voters, not even close to a simple majority and, obviously, the entire council was not given anything close to a mandate by the electorate. 

I suggest the new council needs to ask why is there such apathy towards the election and does it truly remain relevant to the majority of eligible voters.

When the township introduced electronic voting for the 2014 election it was following a 45 per cent voter turnout in 2010. The predictions by the clerk, who promoted the new approach was that it should help to increase voter turnout to a much higher number. In fact, turnout in that election was down to 42 per cent and now four years later we have a 38 per cent turnout.

It may be unfair to say that electronic voting has been a real failure but the results of two election cycles speak volumes. My cynical side predicts that the new council will meet, consider lots of new bylaws and other heady decisions, including an increase in our water rates and taxes, quite oblivious to the fact that they do not represent a majority of disinterested Clearview voters. If they examine the lack of voter engagement they may find that electronic voting has failed the democratic process or even worse that they, individually and collectively, are personally failing to meet voter expectations. 

Either way there is a real problem and under Mayor Measures’ leadership they need to find solutions. Perhaps the council is truly irrelevant in the total scheme of things and they should be thinking about amalgamation in some form with other municipalities or with Simcoe County. Food for thought!

Rowland Fleming,

Creemore.

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