Opinion

Our View: Civic elections about community

With two months to go before voters go to the polls to select their municipal mayors and councils, interesting races are shaping up around the Capital Region and the West Shore.

It will be interesting to see who steps up in Colwood to vie for the mayor’s seat in what has been a difficult three-years cleaning up messes from previous administrations.

Mayor Dave Saunders, at times a lightning rod for voter discontent, has opted not to seek reelection, which will likely deflate what would have been one of the more heated races in the region.

It will also be interesting to see if anyone will see fit to challenge Stew Young, Langford’s mayor for 18 years and who has overseen the city’s rapid urbanization.

Further afield, Saanich could see the tightest mayoral race in years with former councillor and MLA David Cubberley preparing to challenge long-time incumbent Frank Leonard.

Hopefully more personalities and races emerge once the candidate registration deadline for the Nov. 19 election passes in a few weeks’ time.

When election time roles around, rules change for publishing opinions. Limiting bias is the goal of this newspaper and others, so letters to the editor and op-ed columns cannot be seen as favouring any individual or group of candidates.

Conversely, letters from candidates criticizing the work or decisions of a sitting member of council will not be published.

Such a policies help level the playing field and forces all candidates to get their message out to the public themselves, without assistance from the media.

News stories including comments made at candidate forums are a different story. Such meetings are public events and give readers a sense of where mayoral and councillor candidates stand on issues.

There is a special obligation to report closely on civic campaigns, which are grassroots political events that we can all participate in. Of the three levels of government elections, they reflect community the best.

 

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