Fall elections time to step up

After a heated and contentious provincial election in May 2012, now it’s time to gear up for municipal and school board elections

After a heated and contentious provincial election in May 2012, now it’s time to gear up for municipal and school board elections in two months.

Although voters head to the polls Oct. 21, the Sept. 23 nomination day is just around the corner.

So, now’s the time for potential candidates for municipal councils and school trustees to announce their intentions and ignite the enthusiasm to engage the voters.

Soon after I moved to this province in 2002, I quickly found out that elections in Alberta are pretty ho-hum and dull compared to the more lively and engaging campaigns in my home province of British Columbia.

Perhaps that might be because Alberta has more smaller municipalities and larger councils where the quality of candidates might be lower.

While this province has just a two-hour window to file nominations for local elections, candidates in B. C. have 10 full business days to submit their papers.

Even weeks, or months before the nomination begins, candidates in B.C. are well-prepared and already hit the campaign trail by getting their name out into local press and community.

Why are local elections so hush-hush here in Alberta and the local region.

By candidates announcing before the nomination period, this spurs on other potential challengers.

When the nomination day closes for B.C. local elections, most of the candidates have already been known and voters have long been engaged.

If candidates are serious with a desire to win, don’t you think that they would want to get their name and face out there as soon as possible?

It seems that elections in Alberta might not be that important if it’s such a hush-hush issue.

So now, who are the candidates?

What incumbents are in and who is out?

Facing a four-year term, from three years, this will definitely weed out the frivolous candidates who occasionally show up to run on a platform with one issue that they might have against local government.

With that extended term, this might prompt a few of the veteran or senior folks to pass on the torch to the younger generation.

Now is the time to start pondering who will be the best elected officials to lead your community in the next four years with a long-term vision for the next four decades.

An effective council or school board consists of residents who have good ideas for enhancing the lives of residents and stakeholders, wisely using taxpayers’ money and attracting new businesses and residents and listening to the wishes and views of residents.

I’m sure many people can think of quality candidates. Urge these people to run for office.

Let’s not just see those names on nomination day. Start the campaign now and raise the profile of the election and further engage the voters in this important election.

— Froese’n Time

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