First the important bit: I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of volunteering with an amazing group of people trying to increase voter participation in the municipal election in Calgary this month. What we’ve come up with is a website called VoteKit. If you live in Calgary, please check out the website, our Facebook page, or follow VoteKit on Twitter! Turnout in municipal elections is historically quite low, and all we’re hoping for and trying to achieve is an increase in the turnout rate. VoteKit is a completely non-partisan project. It does not support any candidate(s), nor does it take a position on any issue(s). Everybody working on VoteKit has set aside their personal opinions for the work we’re doing on the project–but we also openly acknowledge that outside of VoteKit, we do have our own personal opinions.
In my case, I have a strong personal interest in a couple of things: arts & culture, and the plans for a new central library in Calgary. I plan to vote for the candidates who show the strongest support in these two areas. To get a sense of where the various candidates stand on arts & culture, Arts Vote Calgary did a survey, and you can find the responses to that on their website.
And now the shameless self-promotion bit: I’ve contributed a couple of posts to the VoteKit site. The first one has to do with why I think municipal politics and governance may be the most important of the three levels of government in Canada. The second one has to do with exactly what it is we elect our Councillors (and yes, they’re finally called “Councillors” here in Calgary instead of “Aldermen”!) to do–the roles and responsibilities of elected representatives in our fair city. It’s not posted yet–I’ll update this post as soon as the link is live.
Again–if you live in Calgary, please take the time to learn a bit about the candidates for mayor, council, and school board. Once you’ve done that, vote–and take a friend with you!