Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/9/2011 (2001 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Walking through my neighbourhood it’s apparent that it’s that political season in Manitoba again — election time.
However, other than some signs promoting the different candidates and their parties, it is hard to know how engaged residents are in the political process. If historical election turnout numbers are any indication, then perhaps not enough are. Slightly less than 57% of eligible voters showed up at the Manitoba polls in 2007. I hope that people are a little more motivated this time around.
I have had an interest in the political process, and politics in general for a number of years now. I think that a lot of people are hearing the message that they should vote. But, many of them may have some trouble knowing where to begin learning about the candidates and their positions on the issues.
Some friends and I decided that the people of our province would find a one-stop online election resource quite useful. So, we built the website manitobaelection.ca as a source of information for voters. It is the follow-up project to winnipegelection.ca, which we created for last fall’s civic election.
I hope that our site can be useful to voters in all areas of the city and the province. It allows people to very quickly find who the candidates are in their constituency and provides links to relevant news articles from a variety of sources, including newspaper, TV and radio station websites. There is also a calendar of election-related events such as debates and forums.
Naturally, we all have our own personal political beliefs, but we do not allow these to influence our work on this project. We strive to keep the site unbiased — a resource where voters can begin their research, and then make up their own minds about who to cast their ballot for. Our primary goal is to get more voters to the polls, and engage people in the process. No matter what neighbourhood you live in, there are issues that will be affected by the results of this election. Some people think that their vote won’t make a difference. Keep in mind that there were some constituencies that were won by a very small margin last election. I hope that you do your part to help determine the direction of our province for the next four years by heading to your polling station next month.
If you have never voted before, this is a great time to start. Encourage the other eligible voters in your household to head out and make their choice. Stop by manitobaelection.ca if you haven’t yet made up your mind — or, even if you have, a stop by the website may get the debate going for you again.
Jody Gillis is one of the creators of the manitobaelection.ca website and lives in North Kildonan.
Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Herald area and would like to contribute to this column, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.