EDITORIAL: Be informed, and then vote

In the last election, only half of eligible voters went to the polls

The 2013 provincial election will be one of the most important in a generation. At a time when the economy appears to be in slow motion, yet demands on the public purse are increasing, voters need to pay attention to who’s running.

Of course, it’s the same for every election – to little avail. In the 2009 provincial election, only about 50 per cent of voters bothered to cast a vote.

Who is to blame and will things be any different this year?

Is it helplessness and apathy that keep people away from the polls? Many people simply don’t connect with government.

Perhaps B.C. voters simply distrust anything politicians say.

When there is a real issue, such as lack of funding for health care or education or transit, many eligible voters simply don’t see the connection between their vote and government policy.

Instead, they leave the field to special interest groups — business, unions, lobbyists — to influence the results.

The truth is that politicians will only be accountable if we hold them accountable. We have a right to toss any of them out if they don’t do what they promised, so voters need to pay attention to what politicians say and they need to find out who they are.

Over the past several weeks, The News has coverd this community’s three ridings with information on our local candidates.You can learn their positions on issues, watch them in video clips, examine their profiles, and read – in their own words – what they think is important, and what they intend to do about it if elected.

It’s important information to have before going to the polls.

More critical, of course, is that you actually cast a ballot.