A big THANKS to everyone who came out to vote! We had 36.24% voter turnout, up significantly from 24.67% turnout in 2014. In all, 22,656 ballots were counted. You can view all election results online: https://t.co/ArHf6woSCC #DNVvotes #NorthVan pic.twitter.com/iQzuZ45znk— North Van District (@NVanDistrict) October 22, 2018
Excellent news! The turnout trend is upward and that implies more civic engagement. Although relatively close to the provincial average, there’s plenty to do to engage more citizens.
#DNVvotes #BCvotes #civicelections #NorthShore #NorthVan
Crispy #autumn dusk in #Seymour, @NVanDistrict
Autumn views from Seymour
Although official results will be announced on Monday, October 22, Mike Little is the new District of North Vancouver mayor with a little less than 60% of the votes.
Council (* = who I voted for):
Congratulations and may you achieve what you set out to accomplish!
cc @jordanback @BarryForward – It’s also about fun!
On October 20, 2018, BC held the general local elections, inviting its eligible citizens to elect a mayor, councillors, and school trustees. As a resident of the District of North Vancouver, I headed out to the Parkgate Community Center with my two-month old and partner to cast our votes. Here are a few remarks from what I’ve observed throughout these elections:
If I were to pick two symptoms of apathy among my fellow citizens, I’d promptly point out the low turnout in elections and the lack of political knowledge when carrying out a corridor conversation.
According to the 1983-2013 voter participation data, the number of registered voters in BC has been increasing at a rate relatively higher than the rather flat rate of those who voted.
The data for civic elections is alarming, although the trend is showing upward signs. In the 2014 local elections, the average voter turnout was 35.39%, based on the numbers published here, which is higher than the 31.20% turnout in 2011 and the 27.92% turnout in 2008. Nevertheless, these figures are low.
I attribute political apathy as one of the most insidious root causes of such poignant voter participation trends, which infects particularly young adults, as the published data also shows. The question then becomes, what information, if any, is being disseminated and by what mechanisms? Are those mechanisms effective?
Ad-hoc, minimal information dissemination
For the 2018 election, I personally received no additional information from any of the candidates besides the generic Canada Post junk drop-ins, which some of us do discard. While those brochures may give a taste of what the candidates look like and how many kids they have, they are fairly useless at supplying the kind of information required to cast an informed vote. At best they provide awareness that there exists some mayoral candidate who loves mountains, but they tell nothing about platforms, or “the how”. Obviously, the latter is the golden mine of rational decision making, as Aesop reminds us in “The Mice in Council”. In this election, the burden to mine information was transferred to the citizen. While it is the citizen’s responsibility to educate oneself enough to make a good decision when casting their vote, it is also the responsibility of the candidates to minimize biased or irrational voting by ensuring a good amount information is supplied through traditional and social media, community outreach events, public debates, and the like. That, in my experience living in Greater Vancouver, is not the fad.
Polling place inefficiencies
At the polling station, I noticed two interesting occurrences. First, while people with disability skipped the line through their designated access lane, they still had to wait in line to cast their vote upon receiving their ballots. One would expect them to not have to wait in line. Second, new parents with newborns or toddlers had to wait in the long queues despite the higher probability of their voting experience being affected or interrupted due to the unpredictable changes in the behavior of the little person. One would therefore expect polling stations to assist voters with children as they do, say, during pre-boarding at an airport.
Nevertheless, our experience at the Parkgate Community Center was relatively smooth.
After examining candidate profiles following their brief intros here, I cast my vote as follows:
Mayor: Mike Little, primarily to ensure the infrastructure-growth chicken-and-egg problem is kept under control, while preserving the sanctity of our North Shore.
- Jordan Back, for his commitment to address traffic-related issues we are increasingly facing in the North Shore. I’m not such a big fan of his housing alternatives, due to my consideration of the North Shore as being “holy grounds”, but I’m sure his views could be refined in the process.
- Mathew Bond, for his background and analysis skills. Although he doesn’t impress upon strategic options for tackling some of our challenges, I agree with his statement that it takes a seasoned orchestra to address North Shore issues.
- Megan Curren, for her commitment to protect and, perhaps, ameliorate our environment.
- Mark Elliott, for his top two commitments — traffic congestion & quality of life.
- ZoAnn Morten, for her views on transportation and housing.
- Carleen Thomas, to nurture our relationship with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and for her legitimate concerns over housing for future generations.
- Devon Bruce, for his experience in developing curricula as well as his focus on special education.
- Cyndi Gerlach, for her stated 2018-2022 priorities in education.
- Cam Small, for willing to tackle some real problems he’s observed from data.
- George Tsiakos, for his willingness to proactively tackle education problems early on.
Finally, the ballot asked two questions. I answered both negatively.
- Do you support the establishment and funding, not to exceed $100,000, of an advisory body comprised jointly of residents of the City of North Vancouver and residents of the District of North Vancouver to investigate the costs, benefits and potential implications of reunifying the two municipalities?
- Do you authorize the District of North Vancouver to spend up to $150 Million to create not less than 1000 units of non-market housing, to be constructed not later than January, 2029?
Not really as I do not have any information on what the advisory body constitutes, and how scientific any related study would be. So, no.
Nope. I prefer the sanctity of the status-quo.
The election results are located here.