Thursday, March 17, 2011

Election Fever: Vaughan

Back in February I pointed out that Ontarians have had Election Fever.  But Ontario is not the worst hit by election fever at all.  Compared to the entire province of Ontario which has had three elections, sections of the City of Vaughan in Ontario will have had four elections in just barely more than a year. 

As this article points out, sections of the City of Vaughan will have an election every 3.5 months in about a years time.  Residents of the riding of Vaughan have been through a recent municipal election and are due for a provincial election in October 2011 as well as a now expected federal election sometime in 2011 whenever the current Conservative government falls.  Add to this the resignation of Liberal MP for Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, which caused a By-Election soon after last years Municipal Election.  Bevilacqua resigned his seat in order to successfully run for the position of Mayor of Vaughan.

With typical election campaigns averaging sixty to ninety days in length residents of Vaughan typically go through one election campaign, get a fifteen to thirty day breather before having their dinners interrupted by knocks on the door and/or phone calls from their campaigning candidates.  I would imagine that this would cause a lot of people to either unplug their phone or hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their front door nobs for a little well deserved rest and relaxation.

Another issue with the frequent elections is voter apathy.  The "heck I just went to polls" mentality sets in.  This is derived from voters forgetting to vote because they just did for another election.  As well voters just may become apathetic and tune out the issues as they are now tired of hearing the problems and/or solutions for their communities and wish to tune it all out.  This is especially the case in Vaughan where the frequency in the elections is so high and the controversy over the politics at the municipal level and the high profile personality of Julian Fantino in the recent federal by-election would leave any voter a little fatigued.

So please have some sympathy for the voters in the City of Vaughan as turnout at the polls drops.  They will have been through a large political circus in little over a years time. You would get apathatic too if you had four elections in just over a year.

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