The North Saanich by–election is being held to elect a Councillor. Eight candidates are battling it out to be elected. (Black Press File)

COCULLO: “What does it matter if the NDP always win the riding?” Here’s why it matters.

With all the candidates for the Skeena-Bulkley riding announced, lets start paying attention

“It doesn’t matter, people always vote NDP anyway” is a phrase, or some variation of it, that is often heard around here when talking about voting.

It is not a sentiment that is unique to only the voters registered in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding. It is a sentiment that echoes in every electoral district – from federal to municipal elections – that has had their minds made up on which party or individual to vote for the past decade.

Well here is why it matters. Democracy.

READ MORE: Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

Every time a reporter, blogger, or anyone with the privilege holding a public microphone, sacrifices elections coverage for something worth more clicks; every time a reader skips over a debate or article and instead just comments without being informed; every time a voter decides to stay at home because they can predict the results of their riding already, it is a slap in the face to democracy.

With the exception of First Nation’s people who might choose not to participate in Canadian elections for deep historical and colonial reasons, it is our duty to keep democracy functioning to the best of its ability.

READ MORE: Mike Sawyer announced as Green candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley

READ MORE: Liberals acclaim former Fort St. James councillor as Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidate

The less we engage in politics the less we think critically as a society, as public discourse becomes increasingly watered down with people only choosing to engage with carefully selected soundbites.

Now that Dave Birdi and Mike Sawyer have put their hats in the ring with Taylor Bachrach and Claire Rattée, let’s pay attention to their platforms, applaud what is being done right and question the promises that smell like political b.s. Even if we are sure who is going to take the seat.

It’s the difference between a passive society and one that holds their government to account.

READ MORE: Skeena-Bulkley Valley Conservative candidate under fire for human skull gift

READ MORE: COCULLO: Permanent residents deserve permanent voting rights


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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