Cranbrook City council met on Monday night, as voters in the federal election cast their last-minute ballots. So of course the election was on everyone’s minds during the meeting, and mayor and council took the opportunity to give their thoughts on the election campaign.
Coun. Norma Blissett was first up.
“We all know today is election day,” Blissett said. “It is my hope that we see a record high voter turnout and that the will of the people be heard. I believe that most of us appreciate living in a democracy where we can vote and have our say in government.”
However, Blissett said she was concerned about the level of discourse seen in letters to the editor in the recent election campaign.
“Personal attacks on candidates are distasteful; reflect badly on the writer and our community,” she said.
“They really are an assault on democracy. They discourage good people from getting involved in politics, and I think we can all agree that we need intelligent thoughtful people to run for office.”
Blissett said it’s important to have a choice in every election.
“The behaviour of some adults would indicate that they really don’t think anyone else should run other than their chosen candidate,” she said.
Blissett then thanked all of the candidates running in the marathon election.
“I know it’s not easy to run,” she said. “It’s hard to be so out in public. And it’s a huge amount of work, and for many of the candidates there is no pay. So thank you Wayne Stetski, David Wilks, Bill Green and Don Johnston for stepping up for the benefit of Kootenay Columbia.”
Mayor Lee Pratt said Blissett’s comment was well said.
Coun. Danielle Cardozo said the election has been on her mind as well. She responded to Blissett’s comment.
“I think yes, you know what, there are some inappropriate conversations that are had, but one thing that I love, and no matter how heated it seems to get, as long as it’s about the issues, I think it’s great the conversations that are had,” Cardozo said. “The Facebook posts — I know some people are so sick of it, seeing Facebook posts and hearing people’s opinions. But it wasn’t that long ago, for women in particular, that we weren’t allowed to have those opinions, those conversations, and discuss who we were going to vote for.”
Cardozo said there are people who still don’t have that option and can’t discuss those things.
“As long as it doesn’t become personal attacks, I love it,” she said.
“With this election being so long… I’m exhausted personally,” Coun. Isaac Hockley said, adding he could only imagine what it was like for the candidates. “I’m excited, you know, the youth definitely got out to vote and I’m excited to see those numbers come back.”
Mayor Pratt agreed that it has been a long election campaign.
“I paid way more attention to this election campaign then my own,” Pratt said, referring to the municipal election.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow when it’s over and seeing what the result is,” he said at the meeting. “Hopefully it’s good for the country and good for Cranbrook.”