LETTER: Little incentive to vote: reader


Editor: Re: The editorial “Something’s Broken” in the Nov. 3 Chatham Voice. It sure is, and perhaps the reason so few take any interest in local or for that matter provincial or federal elections is we have nothing concrete to stimulate us to get out and vote for or against.

I voted, always have, but am truly frustrated looking at a ballot that asks nothing except for you to put your faith in a person whom you may have never heard of before. Yes the local publications did ask questions, but we all know what is said in a campaign and what in reality happens are two vastly different realities.

We need to have the ability to provide direct voter input on some of the major topics that affect our property taxes. Oh, I know the answer, “That’s not how our system works” – well that’s probably why so few bother to vote. Council makes decisions on the advice of administration and sometimes the ratepayers provide input through deputations, but for the most part, administration wins.

Topics such as new city offices in the Downtown Chatham Centre, the Bradley Centre when it was built, new arenas, shelters for the homeless, public housing expenditures, shoreline erosion control and there are many more. All could or should be a ballot Issue.

All these things will, however, be decided upon via the election process now in place, but the outcome is seldom in keeping with the election platform.

Until our country adopts some form of direct taxpayer input to guide major capital expenditures, the average family will stay on the sidelines and not vote.


Clare Curtis



  1. I too agree with Clare
    Perhaps we could share the results of past council votes to see if or when they have ever shut down a admin report or request. Rubber stamp the recommendations of administration is a common theme.
    To the new crop of councilors, we challenge you to rise above the tradition. Find and share the voice(s) of the people who voted for you to represent them.

    Ryan Tinline


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