Opinion: Thank you for running William

William Turnbull received 13 per cent of the popular vote in Kamloops’ Oct. 20 election. (Wade Tomko/The Omega)

Good job William.

No, you didn’t win, I think we know that was the most likely result. Ken Christian is as much a ‘career politician’ as it comes with over a decade on the school board, a decade on council and a short term as mayor he is well on his way to becoming a member of parliament if and when Cathy McLeod decides to step down, calling it now!

Ken was going to be a tough man to beat even against another councillor with lots of experience and credibility like former interim Mayor Arjun Singh. However, with this election I think we can all agree in Kamloops and across Canada that in a healthy democracy the incumbents should be challenged. No matter if its from a left- or right-wing perspective having people rise to power without a single question from an opposing point of view is boring, if not dangerous.

Williams run gave us a chance to vote for someone else and what’s great is that even though he got a low number of votes, we as a city were able to give him vocal opposition to stances he put forward in the election. William didn’t have to run, he seemed to be enjoying this life style before entering public life.

To all the people that ran in our recent elections against presumptive winners, thank you. In small town Keremeos in the Similkameen Valley of the Southern Interior, for example, councillor Arlene Arlow saw that the incumbent mayor Manfred Bauer was going to be sworn in without a fight and she wasn’t going to stand for it so went about rallying together people who wanted change and lost the election by a surprising margin, 15 votes. A recount may be likely.

Of the experience she said:

“I knew it would be close. I received a lot of positive feedback during the campaign period but was not sure whether all of the feedback would translate into votes in my favour.  This year – for the first time – the Village of Keremeos allowed voters to vote by mail.  There were essentially four ballots:  The mail-in ballots; the advance poll; a polling station at the care home and the formal election day ballots. The incumbent did better than I in the advance poll and the mail-in ballots, whereas I did better in the care home polling station and the election day ballots. It was a close race and I am definitely not overly disappointed in the results. I have no doubt the incumbent was surprised because the last two times anyone ran against him the margin was huge.  He had become accustomed to victory. “

In places where no one ran against the incumbent mayors, guys like Ron Oszust of Golden or Al Raine of Sun Peaks won without contest are examples of politicians in B.C. getting an easy ride and I argue that because of that the municipalities are losing out on proper debate and that they are losing an opportunity to hold their mayors to account for every decision good or bad that they made.

According to Elections BC 37 municipalities in B.C., in every single region (yes even Metro Vancouver), had some or all of the council candidates win by acclamation. Places like Lytton and Keremeos had every single councillor elected without contest.

So, for the sake of democracy, thank you William.

One Response

  1. Zee Oct. 24, 2018