As a citizen of both Canada and the U.S.A., I am fortunate to be able to vote in two important elections this autumn that have the potential to radically change destiny. One is, of course, the U.S. midterms. The other, our Hope municipal election.
Last week I sent my absentee/citizen abroad ballot back to the U.S.A. and in doing so became a part the ‘blue wave’ that hopes to see the Democrats wrest control of the legislative branch from the Republicans and render the current occupier of the Oval Office, Mr. Trump, impotent as well as lead to his impeachment and removal from office. His removal from office will not only benefit a nation that has been ripped to shreds because of his divisive speech and actions that have made America a laughing stock on the world stage, but will benefit us here in Canada if we hope to continue a partnership that has lasted through financial good times and bad, and war — both physical such as World War II and figurative such as the Cold War. Even if the ‘blue wave’ does not overtake the House and Senate, it will nonetheless send a message to Mr. Trump, that the nation is not his to run as he chooses with no regard to civility, the rule of law, or respect for people of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds, races, sexual orientations or genders.
On a local level, we have the power to also send a message. I will proudly vote for the first time in a municipal election here in Hope, having previously voted on a provincial and federal level. In casting my ballot, that message will be addressed to the incumbents to let them know that I am fed up with their unwillingness to address the real problems facing our town. Their unwillingness to deal with situations such as aggressive panhandling, public drunkenness and homelessness, as well as infrastructure such as crumbling roads, means that we must sweep the floor clean and elect a mayor and council members who are willing to recognize these problems and work to fix them. As a town, we are a gateway to all points in the province, for travelers in the Interior heading to the coast and island, and people in the Lower Mainland heading to the north. Local government must capitalize on this unique position and actively work to make our town attractive to this traffic instead of relying on the present passive approach that not only ignores the problems but also says that people will stop anyway because they need snacks and gas. It must see that the problems that I have mentioned reflect badly on our community.
That said, no matter how you will vote this October, no matter what you have to say, you have this golden opportunity to have your say. Get out and vote. Your voice matters.
Anthony G Pavick