In the last week, the Citizen has been inundated with letters about the pending vote on the possible amalgamation of the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan.
It seems a good number of citizens of these two municipalities are passionately either for, or against the idea of the two areas merging under one government.
And yet, we are concerned about just how many people are going to ultimately make this decision. Voter turnout for referenda is traditionally below that for other elections where governments are being chosen, and even for those, voter tallies have increasingly fallen victim to apathy.
Nevertheless, there are no stipulations for this referendum as to how many people need to turn out to vote in order for the question to either pass or be defeated. The decision will be made by those who show up. The threshold for approval is a simple 50 plus one per cent in both Duncan and North Cowichan. If either area is a no, it is defeated.
This is a critical decision more than a century in the making. The futures of both areas will be deeply impacted by what voters decide on June 23. Should only a relative few cast ballots it will leave questions in the community about whether the result really is the will of the electorate or not. A shadow will hang over whatever comes next.
Some people in the community really will not care one way or another. But most, if they take a minute to think about it, will have an opinion, a feeling or a preference. It will only take a few minutes to vote, to make that preference known. Even if you don’t feel strongly enough to have written a letter to the newspaper, don’t you want to have your say? This truly is about shaping the future of your community.
Don’t be invisible.