The referendum is finally over. It was dirty, polarizing, and at the end of the day there was a lot of apathy. I was as surprised as anyone when I found that in the Town of Princeton only 981 people bothered to take 10 minutes out of their day and mark an X on a ballot. That means around 1,500 from town, around sixty percent of the town’s population, didn’t vote.
I would like to ask the 1500, why did you stay home?
Did you not care?
Was voting not on your to-do list when you got up?
I know that democracy asks a lot of people, voting once in a while to speak your mind, but when only 40 per cent of a population made the effort to have their voices heard you have to wonder about the state of our democracy.
In Area H, the numbers were a little different. 1,237 people had their vote counted which works out roughly to 62 per cent of the population, – a stark contrast to the municipality and I cannot help but wonder why?
I know why most people came into town from Area H to vote. The numbers speak for themselves with 72.21 per cent of the votes cast answering NO to the referendum question.
I guess living in Area H I took a personal offence to some of the rhetoric floating around about how the people in the regional district were just against everything and that we should lose our rights to services in town, services that we pay for.
One thing I have to say for my fellow Area H residents is that when they are passionate towards something, whether you agree with them or not, they got out and did something about it. They voted.
I guess I am just disappointed. I am disappointed that people did not get out and vote. You could have voted any way you wanted, for or against, but the point is you should have voted.
I wish Area H would have had an even higher turnout than just over 60 per cent. I would have loved to have seen 70 per cent or more. After all, everyone you talked to in town and in Area H had an opinion on the matter.
Why wasn’t the Town’s vote at 70 per cent or more? The vote was cast in town.
It is not like you had to drive 30 minutes or more to get to vote.
Referendum results aside, the number of people who actually voted is the biggest story in my opinion.
When you have less than half of the combined population of the Town and Area H actually casting a vote on an issue as big as the aquatic centre, how can we expect our elected officials to have a legitimate mandate to do anything?
On November 19th, we will go to the polls again, this time to elect four town councillors, a mayor, the Area H director and three school board trustees, and I hope that the turn out for this election is high. Princeton is heading into an important time in history and the people who will lead us into the future need a real mandate given to them by a true majority, not 40 per cent.
It’s one of your only duties as a citizen in a democracy.