Now is the time to consider making your mark in local or federal politics

By on May 7, 2014

Barring the unexpected, the next federal election won’t come until the fall of 2015. Municipal elections in B.C. aren’t scheduled until November this year.

It’s probably too early for most of us to start thinking about these distant elections. After all, summer is just starting and most of us would rather be out enjoying the sunny Okanagan weather.

But for those who believe they can make a difference in their communities, this is exactly the time they should give a thought to these two elections.

Federally, the next election will take place under new boundaries, which are revised roughly every 10 years to reflect population changes – and this time also to take into account the addition of new seats in the House of Commons.

As a result, many residents of the present B.C. Southern Interior, including those in and around Osoyoos, will be in the new electoral district of South Okanagan-West Kootenay (SOWK).

Our present Member of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko, will not be running again, so this means voters in SOWK will be electing a brand new MP.

Members of all three major political parties are now expressing interest in seeking the nominations of their respective parties. Those nomination meetings, where candidates are chosen, will be coming soon.

Local residents who are not politically active should at the very least consider taking out a membership in the party of their choice so they can vote for the next party candidate.

Those who are already active in the community may want to consider throwing their names into the ring. Our representation can only be as good as the candidates who come forward.

Town of Osoyoos Council is less of a commitment than federal politics, but we still need good people to run in November’s election.

Osoyoos has a very good council, but it’s always possible some members may choose not to run again. And even if they all do, a little competition to keep them on their toes is never a bad thing.

Nobody needs to file their nominations yet, but it is certainly time to consider running for council and to canvass your contacts in the community for support if you do decide to run.

All too few Canadians take the time to vote in federal and provincial elections – only around 60 per cent. Municipal participation is even worse at 20 to 30 per cent.

That’s all the more reason why now is the time for capable and civic-minded people to step forward as candidates and party members.

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