Clockwise from top left: White Rock’s Democracy Direct councillors-elect; defeated Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill; White Rock mayor-elect Darryl Walker; and Safe Surrey Coalition’s Surrey mayor-elect Doug McCallum. (File photos)

Clockwise from top left: White Rock’s Democracy Direct councillors-elect; defeated Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill; White Rock mayor-elect Darryl Walker; and Safe Surrey Coalition’s Surrey mayor-elect Doug McCallum. (File photos)

LETTERS: Array of thoughts in wake of civic elections

Letter-writers comment on Surrey, White Rock results

Editor:

Congratulations to mayor-elect Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition.

While I fully agree with their stance on LRT vs. SkyTrain (street-level transit can be affected by traffic and weather conditions, while SkyTrain is impervious to both), I am undecided on replacing the RCMP with a municipal police force, and opposed to free parking at hospitals and city hall (shoppers will fill the lots, while those visiting the hospital and city hall won’t have anywhere to park – why can’t the hospital and city hall simply validate legitimate municipal parking charges?).

Jerry Steinberg, Surrey

There has been much confusion over who to vote for in this election with so many candidates running. The confusion during the last election was just as confusing.

So, at the last election, I decided to vote for the candidate that had the most advertisements on the roadside. I was successful, so I decided to do the same this time.

After several hours of counting the advertisements, I was able to make a decision. Again – I voted RE/MAX.

Keith Bates, Surrey

Well here we go again. Brand-new crop of wannabe politicos out to change the world.

Before we speculate on events yet to come, let’s lament the legacy of the past.

To paraphrase the words of the late Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Four years older and deeper in debt.” That is the legacy of the last city council. Nothing good for the shareholders of White Rock Inc., just higher tax revenue for city hall but no benefit for us.

The new council will now be told that they are now city hall employees and not the elected representatives of the taxpayers. My guess is they will be told to shut up and do as they are told.

If past behaviour is an indication of the future, the result is inevitable, more of the same.

Will there be more high rise development? I believe “yes!”

Have we chosen wisely? In two years, we will know. In three years, it might be time to move.

Barry Gaudin, White Rock

It cannot be denied Doug McCallum, and his Safe Surrey Coalition, handily won the 2018 election of Surrey mayor and council. At the same time, one must question his claim that this election represents a strong endorsement of McCallum and his party platform, and has given him a strong mandate to implement his plans to immediately cancel the proposed LRT and contract with the RCMP. I think not.

Yes, McCallum won by a significant number of votes over his closest rival, Tom Gill. However, the number of votes cast for McCallum represents only 41.4 per cent of the total votes cast. 59.6 per cent did not vote for McCallum, and one can only assume, did not support his platform and proposed actions.

In addition, when considering the estimated 33 per cent voter turnout, only 13.7 per cent of the registered electors in Surrey voted for McCallum and his party platform. This is hardly a strong endorsement.

McCalllum and his newly-elected council must slow down, and give much more careful consideration of the actions they are proposing to take. Further investigations and consultation with the public is required.

On a related thought… McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition were elected under the existing “first past the post” system and occurred primarily due to the splitting of the former Surrey First. Had the two new parties not run separate candidates in this election, the results would likely have been very different.

Changing our electoral system to a “ranked ballot,” such as recently implemented in London, Ont., would ensure that the candidates elected receive a minimum 50 per cent majority support of the votes cast.

Gil Mervyn, Surrey

This campaign was eye-opening, enthralling, difficult, and fun. It was exhausting, disgusting, invigorating, and disappointing.

Many times, I heard from people that they ‘aren’t into politics,’ or ‘I don’t get political.’ My, what a privileged stance. I know many that just didn’t bother to vote, too.

Not only did many die for the privilege, here is what you need to know.

Unless you are a hobbit, completely off the grid and eating food you catch yourself, you are political. Have a bank account? Political. Eat food from a store or a restaurant? Political. Walk on sidewalks? Did you go to school? Kids in school? Drive a car? Take a bus? Go to a movie? Play a sport? Have your kids in sports? Are you older and needing medical care? Are you younger and broke a bone? Do I need to go on? Every single thing we have in this world is gained through some form of politics.

I’m tired of the term “politics” getting a bad rap. I’m tired of the title “politicians” getting such negative press. And, I’m getting fed up with “taxes” being considered a bad thing.

Without politics, politicians and taxes, you would not be able to afford to live. Period.

There would be exorbitant costs to going to school, basic healthcare, cars, food. The system we have, like it or not, is better than the alternative. Fundamental rights would not be protected. There would be no judicial system. No mental health. No police. No one to see us when we are sick, give us chemo for cancer – heck we wouldn’t even know we are dying of cancer. And no leaders. No one willing to put themselves on the line for everyone else that didn’t bother going to vote.

There are so many good people trying to make positive change (agree with their ways or not), and 67.45 per cent of Surrey stayed home when it was time to do the one thing they need to do.

This isn’t just a Surrey issue. This is a provincewide issue. Do we need to move to the Australian model of voter engagement where it is compulsory with fines for not?

We take so much for granted. And it’s sad, really. Just sad. We need our citizens, just as much as they need us.

VOTE.

Signed, was a candidate and now back to being “just” a parent advocate.

Cindy Dalglish, Surrey

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