Democracy... one dictionary definition is "government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."
The recent Edmonton elections were indeed a democratic process. Approximately 1 out of 3 people choose to exercise their democratic right to vote and I wonder why the other two thirds of residents choose not to. Where they confused with the issues? Did they care about the issues? Perhaps the better question is were they informed about the issues in an unbiased manner, or from balanced reporting?
Edmonton's print news media folks were certainly very vocal on things for several months leading up to the election, of that there is no question. I am not sure how honourable they were, in hindsight. The Edmonton Journal would place articles done by columnists on the front page of a section of the newspaper, giving the appearance of the item being a news story and not being clear they were opinion comments and not actual news. The Edmonton Sun and The Examiner also created articles or editorials that never provided the full facts on issues.
Edmontonians were also subject to the influence of campaigns run by Envision Edmonton and Share The Facts. Perhaps more importantly, in amongst all of this, were the things the people of Edmonton were not told. I am not going to bother with diving into accusations over the Mayor and Council race, but I will bring up one point for people to ponder on...
As I have stated before, I am just starting to finally pull my head out of the sand when it comes to civic, provincial and federal politics. Better late than never I guess. With that said, I really wonder where the voices of the School Boards were in this campaign. The reason why I say this is simple. From the school board aspect, I live in the Ward B area. The incumbent for EPSB was Ken Shipka. According to the ARTES (Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools) report card, Mr. Shipka was the worst possible choice. Talking with many who know a lot more about the Trustee side of things than I do, they are also of the same belief.
According to the election results, Mr. Shipka received a total of 5,013 votes. The ARTES report card also lists the best choice as being Darryl Lagerquist. Darryl received only 801... the lowest number of votes. I am deeply saddened, and if past performance is any indication, then EPSB has another rubber stamp added to it's collection.
I wonder how people are supposed to make informed decisions, if the information provided in the media is continuously biased and/or one sided... or if the School Boards don't tell you about what is going on with the people who were previously voted in?
Democracy can only be true, if you have TRUE facts to base decisions on.
In my humble opinion, the residents of Edmonton were let down in knowing the truth.