Higher Ground: Hello voters — It’s time to pay attention and get involved


John Devitt
John Devitt

Election season is upon us. The nominations are in and we will be soon selecting from 12 council candidates and 3 mayoral candidates. Now is the time when obfuscation will dominate. Candidates will make promises, obscure facts, forget past voting records, ignore undelivered promises and some will do their best to try and make ‘change’ not sound like a dirty, scary word.

It is time to pay attention and get involved. Voter participation in the last election was despicably low. To paraphrase Plato, ‘the price we pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by lesser men [or women, as the case may be].

Vote for someone who has a positive vision for our community. Remember that campaigns built upon anger or resentment may seem fashionable, but ultimately seek not to build up and improve our community, but to tear it down. We need leaders that want to move us forward, not backwards. Leaders that understand a 360° vision for Revelstoke and do not wear blinders to the reality of oppressive spending and taxation.

Vote for someone that believes our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. To often in these past few years, I’ve heard the phrase ‘if only we could go back to the way it was in the dam days, or when the resort was being built.’ The past was never as good as we think it was, nor can we hope to recreate it. We live in different times and we need leaders who can take us out of the stagnation of the past 6 years and acknowledge the realities of governing in the 21st century.

Vote for someone who you believe is thoughtful and professional, regardless of their politics. Whether a councilor is conservative or liberal does not matter for 90% of the decisions we face. What matters is whether or not they are competent, informed and willing to take the initiative in seeking out solutions that can deal with the complexities of the issues we face.

Vote for someone with youthful enthusiasm. Nearly 50 years ago in a speech to South African youth, Senator Robert Kennedy said, “The cruelties and the obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger that comes with even the most peaceful progress. This world demands the qualities of youth. Not the time of life, but a state of mind; a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease.”

Keep youth in mind as you make decisions moving forward. Not just young families and their needs, but those qualities of youthful exuberance that Kennedy mentions which are needed in order for our community to prosper.

The issues facing us today are the same that have faced us for more than half a decade; municipal overspending, closing businesses, repressive business taxation, a prohibitive development culture, spiraling debt, and the refusal to mitigate an economic downturn.

Our current leaders yet to solve these problems and would have us believe they are insurmountable and take decades to fix. This could not be further from the truth.

Change can begin with vision and a simple choice on election day. Get engaged for November 15.