Teach a child about democracy and elections at an early age, and hopefully that message serves them well as they grow into adults and can actually exercise their right to vote. Instill in them a passion for public service and civic duty and you might just increase turnout at the polls down the road.
But what about those cringe-worthy examples offered by some of our municipal mayoral candidates when they addressed questions posed by students at Winchelsea Elementary School Wednesday? Those children asked some pretty good questions and the mayoral candidates had the opportunity to tell them how they’d better the City of Parksville after Nov. 19.
Now, one would expect the answers to be simplified somewhat for such an audience.
Instead, they received a few puzzling answers which one would assume is how the candidates really feel about certain issues.
No one wants excess taxes, but to essentially bribe children with their parents’ own money isn’t quite the message that new voters should be absorbing. Candidate Paul Reitsma told them he wants to keep taxes low so their parents can buy them more Christmas presents. Will that stance earn him some parents’ votes? That would be Mr. Reitsma’s Christmas present.
Antonio Farinha, himself an immigrant to Canada at some point, says he wants to prevent immigrants from getting jobs over Canadians. Does that rule him out as a candidate? That’s too simple an answer for such a large minefield issue — and one over which the city has no control.
Give children credit. They understand these answers and could very well absorb them. These two examples are certainly not ones they should take to heart. — editorial by Steven Heywood