'Voting is more than marking a ballot'
by Sandy Lindsay
October 21, 2014
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With less than one week remaining until the conclusion of Election 2014, voting in Saugeen Shores this time 'round has been high.
As of yesterday, October 20th, Southampton ward in particular, has been especially active with 50% of voters having already mailed in their ballots. Not far behind is Saugeen Township at 45% and then Port Elgin at 38%. Overall, 43% of eligible voters have voted to date. In the last election (2010), the overall voter turnout was 53.38%.
One can only hope that those who have voted did so based on knowledge and that those who have yet to vote will become familiar with their candidates' stand on issues that affect the entire community.
Each candidate brings to the arena his or her own experiences, viewpoints and biases ... but it is up to the voter to sort through the rhetoric and make an informed decision.
What is the meaning of rhetoric? It is the "ancient art of argumentation and discourse to convince others of what we believe ... intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable" (Merriam-Webster dictionary).
Unfortunately, however, rhetoric often wins out.
Today's politics are complex. There are the levels or tiers of government that have to be understood; there are policies and legislation that have to be understood; there are enormous budgetary challenges that have to be understood; more often than not, there is having to conduct one's self with diplomacy.
One can only hope that those who have already cast their ballots, considered their choices carefully before marking and that those who are still deciding will carefully look at their candidates, at what they stand for and what they bring to the Council table.
The old saying that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" is true in more ways than one. Those who incessantly talk but have not walked the walk and those who make promises that are often unable to be filled, are often those who "... get the grease".
Voting is a privilege and, in this country, a right. It is a voter's duty however, to make the best possible decisions by being informed.
This is your community and four years until you next exercise your right to vote can be a long time ...
For those who have yet to vote, ponder your choices very seriously ... for those who have already cast your ballots, the game is over ... did rhetoric win?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014