Take an interest in politics

This is an election year in BC: A Local Government election.

On Nov. 19, all of us who are 19 years and older will be asked to vote for Mayor, councillors, trustees and regional district directors.

Don’t roll your eyes – it happens every three years, and you should be grateful for it.

In the 30-some years I’ve been reporting in small communities, it has been my observation that people don’t spend enough time thinking about democracy and what it means to them or how it affects them. Or how different our lives would be if there were no democracy.

And if your reaction to that last paragraph is: “Democracy or no, the politicians don’t listen to me anyway,” that could possibly be because not enough of us exercise our right to vote. And many of us who vote in every election think our duty ends when we walk out of the polling station.

Not so.

“The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance” said Thomas Jefferson, and it is a statement that we should all reflect on and carve into our refrigerator door.

We are the government. We elect speakers to represent us because we can’t all fit into one meeting room at the same time.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Council meetings, school board meetings and TNRD board meetings are all open to the public. They are required to be by law.

You are not only welcome to attend any of these, but you SHOULD attend. Become acquainted with your elected officials and how they come to the decisions that affect your daily lives.

Some of the information they sift through in a meeting is a bit dry; some of it is a little confusing if you’ve never been to a meeting before; but your vigilance is the price of your liberty.

You may even decide that you can do a better job than the current officials and toss your hat into November’s elections.

It’s not too early to start thinking about it.

~ Wendy Coomber – Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal