Stop be­ing ap­a­thetic vot­ers

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Melissa Jenk­ins

It’s the mid­dle of elec­tion time in New­found­land and Labrador, and I am back in all my glee. I haven’t been this ex­cited since the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in 2013.

Ev­ery time I tell peo­ple I have an in­ter­est in provin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics, be­sides the weird looks, I get peo­ple ask­ing ‘ Why.’

There is not one an­swer. I like politi­cians. I enjoy a good de­bate. When there is con­flict be­tween par­ties, I like to com­pare my per­sonal opin­ions to those of the politi­cians. But mostly, it’s good en­ter­tain­ment.

Ear­lier this year a record num­ber of peo­ple turned out to the nom­i­na­tions for Lib­er­als for the new dis­trict of Car­bon­ear-Trin­ity-Bay de Verde. Thou­sands of votes were cast, and re­sulted in Steve Crocker get­ting the nod. And ev­ery­one seems to have an opin­ion.

But how many peo­ple are gen­uinely in­ter­ested in who their new rep­re­sen­ta­tive will be in the House of As­sem­bly come Nov. 30? How many peo­ple will cast a vote? And which ar­eas are more in­volved than oth­ers?

Like pre­vi­ous years and pre­vi­ous elec­tions, there are many signs posted on pub­lic streets. But it seems less and less yard signs are making their way on to per­sonal property.

Is this a sign of ap­a­thy? And how could we know?

Ask your­self if there is any­thing you would like to see hap­pen in this prov­ince and if your can­di­dates could bring those is­sues to the fore­front. Many peo­ple just as­sume be­cause of polls, the elec­tion may be one-sided. Does that mean you give up?

Ev­ery vote counts. If you don’t be­lieve that, ask Pla­cen­tia Mayor Wayne Power Jr., who won his seat in 2013 by a hand­ful of votes.

In Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia, we have a unique sit­u­a­tion. We had two dis­tricts com­bine to make one — Car- bon­ear-Trin­ity-Bay de Verde — and as of our dead­line day no one was run­ning for the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives.

The Har­bour Grace-Port de Grave dis­trict has a pop­u­lar in­cum­bent fac­ing off against a can­di­date who has been very vo­cal and present in the re­gion in re­cent months.

Pla­cen­tia-St. Mary’s has a high pro­file, for­mer un­elected cab­i­net min­is­ter fac­ing off against a fa­mil­iar face and name in the dis­trict.

As for Har­bour Main, where a big name cab­i­net min­is­ter de­cides not to run again, it’s big news who could re­place him.

Are the Lib­er­als rid­ing high on the coat­tails of the fed­eral Grits ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment win? Or are they a pow­er­house on their own?

Will the PCs step up and earn seats to make this an in- ter­est next four years?

And will the NDP con­tinue to make gains, and per­haps keep a few seats?

So many ques­tions, but the an­swer falls along the shoul­ders of you, the voter. Who do you want to see run the prov­ince? Who would you like to see rep­re­sent your dis­trict?

I rec­om­mend get­ting to know your can­di­dates, learn about the is­sues and place your X on a ballot on Nov. 30.

Ask your­self if there is any­thing you would like to see hap­pen in this prov­ince and if your can­di­dates could bring those is­sues to the fore­front.

Melissa Jenk­ins is a re­porter/ pho­tog­ra­pher for The Com­pass news­pa­per. She can be reached at


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