EDITORIAL: Voters happy with council? Turnout didn’t show it

Turnout at polls continues trend of falling numbers in Nanaimo.

Much of this civic election campaign in Nanaimo was about a single issue – social housing.

For the people and neighbourhoods most immediately affected by the city and provincial plan to address homelessness and addiction, this election was an opportunity to vote for change.

In those neighbourhoods, voters did express their displeasure with their choices at the ballot box.

But across the city and across the electorate, that same appetite for change simply wasn’t there.

Voter apathy continues to worsen in the city, with barely one-in-four voters casting a ballot.

Of those who did vote, the choice was overwhelmingly to stay the course, with five incumbent councillors re-elected, as well as Mayor John Ruttan getting a ringing endorsement for a second term with more than 50 per cent of the mayoralty votes over three contenders.

There are three new faces at the table, with three councillors not seeking re-election. But even of those three, Diane Brennan is a returnee to council after one term away.

The debate over voter apathy, what it means and how to change the trend will continue, but one possible and perhaps obvious conclusion is that Nanaimo residents are happy with their government.

For all the noise and criticism from certain corners, whether it was about social housing or ever-increasing property taxes or city hall’s spending habits, none of it resonated with the voters.

Generally, low voter turnout is associated with disinterest in the issues and the election itself. If the issues are catching people’s attention and they are truly unhappy with the city’s leadership, they’d say so with their votes.

That simply did not happen.

Just Posted

Clippers play against each other, get ready to play against someone else

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey team held its Rhodesie Cup intrasquad game Wednesday

Nanoose Bay’s Northwest Bay Road again open to the public

Single-lane alternating traffic expected to stretch into September

Ski coach Bertrand Charest’s sentence for sexual abuse reduced

Appeal court judge: ‘His narcissistic personality is still present’

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

VIEX all set for 125th anniversary fair

Vancouver Island Exhibition taking place at Nanaimo’s Beban Park from Aug. 23-25

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo’s ‘Kidney Condo’ accommodates out-of-town dialysis patients

Facility first of its kind on Vancouver Island, according to Kidney Foundation of Canada

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read