What if we had an election and nobody showed up? With voter turn out deceasing, that may happen yet.
We will be having an election on October 16, 2017 and it does appear that it is quite plausible, all the incumbents may run again. There are no indications of any incumbents deciding not to run. Since incumbents have a great advantage, media coverage, name recognition, events, etc., it is quite possible that there may not see any differences on October 17, 2017.
There are a few new comers throwing their hats in the ring, but they are not offering much different, than what we have now. So why vote for a shadow when we can vote the real thing?
In 2010 incumbent Mayor Morris Flewelling won re-election beating Hilary Penko, a relative unknown newcomer, but only with 8,100 to her 6,219 votes. He still won but Hilary Penko, made it a race.
Will we have any semblance of a race in 2017, or should we defer it to 2019?
Why? There are several reasons. The 2019 games will be over in March, the Provincial election will be over in May, and the Federal election will be over in October.
The games would be the final hurrah for some incumbents. The Provincial election will see a united right wing party, and new candidates, with some being municipal incumbents. The Federal election will see at least 2 new leaders, anticipated retirement amongst Federal incumbents, and again a few candidates being municipal incumbents.
So it is possible that after many years the Mayor takes the next step and becomes the MP for Red Deer/Mountview, and a couple of councillors become MLAs, and another one or two just retire after the games. Then we should have our election, which we would have had if they not changed municipal terms to 4 years from 3 in 2013.
The Mayor vacates her seat to be an MP, thus creating a By-election. The result of the By-election a councillor becomes the Mayor forciing another By-election for a council seat. A School board trustee wins a seat on council forcing another by-election for a school board trustee.
So to avoid all these hypothetical by-elections let us hold our municipal elections after the other 2019 events. We could demand a commitment that they not vacate their seats for these reasons.
Another reason to hold off the election is our population. Red Deer did their annual census in 2016 and found that the city shrank in population by 975 residents. They decided not to have a census in 2017 because they needed growth to validate the expenditure, which was highly unlikely. They also deferred any annexation due to lack of growth. Currently there is speculation that the population is still in decline, and we will not know until the census in 2018.
If we had 2017 numbers that showed continued decline the incumbents would have to defend their past decisions that may have contributed to our decline and would have to offer plans to turn it around. Now they can use the Federal Census showing growth over a 5 year span.
If the choice is just between incumbents and their shadows, and no real discussion, debate or distinct proposals on important issues, then defer the election to 2019.
Maybe by then we would see real growth, and not be recognized for our high crime rate, poor air quality, and our discriminatory practices against residents living north of the river.
The Mayor faced a “challenger” in 2010, will there be any real challengers for any incumbent in 2017? I hope so or deferral would be my choice.
Time will only tell, it is still early.
9 total views, 3 views today