COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Increase voter turnout with combined vote

News Jan 28, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Robert Cooper, special to the News

We have a great opportunity in 2018 that we need to seize to save millions of dollars and increase voter turnout.

The next provincial and municipal elections are in the fall of 2018: Oct. 4 provincial; Oct. 22 municipal.

This is a call to unify these two elections on a single date. Holding those elections on one date would be an opportunity to save millions of dollars in tax money.

We should never overlook the opportunity to save overtaxed residents money, especially since the provincial debt continues to spiral and our local municipally has one of the highest homeowner property tax rates in the province — and Hamilton is forecasting the city’s current debt will more than double by 2018.

Reducing voter fatigue from holding one election after another will also increase voter turnout. In Hamilton, only 34 per cent of residents cast a ballot last election. Is it any wonder so many Hamiltonians don’t feel city council and the mayor represents them.

In the last provincial election, the voter turnout was 52 per cent. By harmonizing the two elections, this would enable greater voter turnout municipally — and one could argue a super vote day would also drive up the provincial election numbers as well.

The harmonized election date would also eliminate the duplicity of municipal politicians winning municipally then claiming some miraculous revelation, almost spiritual, that they should a short time later run for another level of government. The last thing overtaxed Hamiltonians need is underrepresentation, which is exactly what sitting municipal politicians who are engaged in an election at another level of government are providing them.

We have seen municipal politicians promise de-amalgamation while the provincial party they are associated with sits in power at Queens Park and remains silent while knowing the promise will never happen. By having an integrated election, the ability to make false claims is reduced by the ability of the electorate to see the election through a holistic municipal/provincial lens, while holding both levels of government accountable.

A single election day for both municipal and provincial elections in 2018 is something that the provincial government can easily do, and should do.

After all, this change would be in the best interest of the electorate and voter engagement.

Robert Cooper is a Mountain resident and president of the Hamilton Mountain federal and provincial Conservative riding associations.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Increase voter turnout with combined vote

News Jan 28, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Robert Cooper, special to the News

We have a great opportunity in 2018 that we need to seize to save millions of dollars and increase voter turnout.

The next provincial and municipal elections are in the fall of 2018: Oct. 4 provincial; Oct. 22 municipal.

This is a call to unify these two elections on a single date. Holding those elections on one date would be an opportunity to save millions of dollars in tax money.

We should never overlook the opportunity to save overtaxed residents money, especially since the provincial debt continues to spiral and our local municipally has one of the highest homeowner property tax rates in the province — and Hamilton is forecasting the city’s current debt will more than double by 2018.

Reducing voter fatigue from holding one election after another will also increase voter turnout. In Hamilton, only 34 per cent of residents cast a ballot last election. Is it any wonder so many Hamiltonians don’t feel city council and the mayor represents them.

In the last provincial election, the voter turnout was 52 per cent. By harmonizing the two elections, this would enable greater voter turnout municipally — and one could argue a super vote day would also drive up the provincial election numbers as well.

The harmonized election date would also eliminate the duplicity of municipal politicians winning municipally then claiming some miraculous revelation, almost spiritual, that they should a short time later run for another level of government. The last thing overtaxed Hamiltonians need is underrepresentation, which is exactly what sitting municipal politicians who are engaged in an election at another level of government are providing them.

We have seen municipal politicians promise de-amalgamation while the provincial party they are associated with sits in power at Queens Park and remains silent while knowing the promise will never happen. By having an integrated election, the ability to make false claims is reduced by the ability of the electorate to see the election through a holistic municipal/provincial lens, while holding both levels of government accountable.

A single election day for both municipal and provincial elections in 2018 is something that the provincial government can easily do, and should do.

After all, this change would be in the best interest of the electorate and voter engagement.

Robert Cooper is a Mountain resident and president of the Hamilton Mountain federal and provincial Conservative riding associations.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Increase voter turnout with combined vote

News Jan 28, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Robert Cooper, special to the News

We have a great opportunity in 2018 that we need to seize to save millions of dollars and increase voter turnout.

The next provincial and municipal elections are in the fall of 2018: Oct. 4 provincial; Oct. 22 municipal.

This is a call to unify these two elections on a single date. Holding those elections on one date would be an opportunity to save millions of dollars in tax money.

We should never overlook the opportunity to save overtaxed residents money, especially since the provincial debt continues to spiral and our local municipally has one of the highest homeowner property tax rates in the province — and Hamilton is forecasting the city’s current debt will more than double by 2018.

Reducing voter fatigue from holding one election after another will also increase voter turnout. In Hamilton, only 34 per cent of residents cast a ballot last election. Is it any wonder so many Hamiltonians don’t feel city council and the mayor represents them.

In the last provincial election, the voter turnout was 52 per cent. By harmonizing the two elections, this would enable greater voter turnout municipally — and one could argue a super vote day would also drive up the provincial election numbers as well.

The harmonized election date would also eliminate the duplicity of municipal politicians winning municipally then claiming some miraculous revelation, almost spiritual, that they should a short time later run for another level of government. The last thing overtaxed Hamiltonians need is underrepresentation, which is exactly what sitting municipal politicians who are engaged in an election at another level of government are providing them.

We have seen municipal politicians promise de-amalgamation while the provincial party they are associated with sits in power at Queens Park and remains silent while knowing the promise will never happen. By having an integrated election, the ability to make false claims is reduced by the ability of the electorate to see the election through a holistic municipal/provincial lens, while holding both levels of government accountable.

A single election day for both municipal and provincial elections in 2018 is something that the provincial government can easily do, and should do.

After all, this change would be in the best interest of the electorate and voter engagement.

Robert Cooper is a Mountain resident and president of the Hamilton Mountain federal and provincial Conservative riding associations.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.