By the time you read this, the results of Peterborough’s municipal election will be well known. Unfortunately, given the nature of our publication schedule, the same cannot be said for me as I write this editorial.
One of the downsides of a weekly paper is that sometimes there are events and happenings you just have to wait until the next week to cover.
Of course, this is supplemented by our social media and our website, which we will be taking full advantage of to provide you with up-to-the-minute election coverage on Monday.
But regardless of the results, I want to applaud the candidates for doing a fantastic job of engaging voters, especially students.
I can hardly remember the 2010 municipal election. Aside from a few signs around my neighbourhood, it seemed like something that was going on “over there” rather than something that affected my life.
There were only two candidates for the position of mayor, and neither of them particularly sparked my interest.
Compare that to this election where there are six candidates in the running, several of whom have interesting ideas that council would benefit from. And almost all of them have made direct attempts to appeal to Trent students.
There are candidates from all over the political spectrum. I’m still only talking about mayoral candidates here. Things get even more exciting when you factor in the councillor candidates.
With a few exceptions, we’ve been able to get in touch with candidates to discuss their ideas and their platforms, for both the Election Focus series and the candidate profiles in Issue 6.
Furthermore, campus leaders have done a great job of making sure Trent students were informed. Debates were held on campus, as were meet-and-greets, among other events and campaigns. There should be no reason for students to feel like this election doesn’t concern them.
The Trent Politics Society, the Trent Central Student Association, and scores of other groups have set the bar high regarding how to engage students during an election.
Finally, the City of Peterborough should be acknowledged for doing a great job of making voting easy and accessible.
For perspective, I won’t be voting in my home town’s election because Internet Voting closed on October 20 there. In Peterborough it was open 24/7 until the polls closed October 27.
The election was a great example of what democracy can and should look like in Canada. Multiple perspectives were heard, all demographics were engaged and treated as important, and there was relatively little mudslinging.
In my editorial in Issue 1, I predicted that the calibre of candidates in Peterborough’s election would keep local voters from getting distracted by the Ford brothers’ antics in Toronto.
Not just the candidates, but also the people I mentioned above did a fantastic job of ensuring this was the case.