Since announcing my candidacy for the
position of Councillor of Ward 5 on January 2, 2014, I have been
asked by numerous people for advice on how they should determine
who to vote for in this election. My advice has been simple.
Whenever an election comes up you have a
number of people tossing their names in as candidates, each
promising to do wonderful things if they are elected and making
commitments to change things for the better. Then they go about
putting up lawn signs and some even go knocking on doors to
spend five minutes trying to skim through some issues to make it
look as if they care about what the home owner says. But the
question asked above still remains. How do you know if they are
telling the truth or if they are just saying what you want to
hear to get your vote? How do you know they can actually do what
they say they will do?
My answer is simple. You have to look at
what they have done in the years leading up to the election.
What have the candidates done for your community in the past?
What are they doing now to make a difference in the quality of
life for your residents? You want a representative who has
always been a leader in the community and who has demonstrated
consistent competency in the activities and initiatives in which
he has been involved. A person who just “leaps” onto the scene
with all kinds of grandiose promises to save the city should not
expect everyone to simply take his word for it and blindly give
up their vote for an unproven representative. Your choice for a
Councillor who is going to advocate on your behalf and who is
going to be your “voice” on City Council must surely be able to
justify those promises and commitments with actions from the
past – and not just the past year, but over many, many years.
So while it is nice that a candidate has
been a good family man; or was successful in his career; or
belongs to an organization in the community; merely putting up a
bunch of lawn signs, making a list of promises on a web site,
and even trying to knock on doors to spend five minutes meeting
face-to-face with a voter during dinner time is just not enough.
People need evidence of past behaviour and contributions
to the community before they should feel confident that what you
say is what you will deliver.
Too often we vote for candidates based on
their promises and the number of lawn signs they put up. We say
that they are working hard to represent us because they are so
eagerly putting up signs, but anyone can do that. It is what
they have done in the past that counts. Not what they “say” they
are going to do in the future.
So my advice to all voters is to do their
homework. Ask people around you about the candidates. See if
they can remember what he/she has done in the past. See what
kind of reputation the people have. If no one knows about the
person, then take that as an indication that perhaps he/she has
not been very much involved in the past and will likely not be
involved in the future. Make sure the candidate you vote for on
October 27 is ready and qualified to do the job now. This is not
the time to select a candidate who has been invisible in the
community. It is the time to select a candidate who has been
working to make the community better. If his commitment was not
there for the past number of years, then don’t expect that much
is going to change in the future.
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