While pleased to see the list of civic candidates and brief descriptions in the Peace Arch News prior to the Surrey civic election on Nov. 15, I was disappointed that the information provided is useless as a guide to help voters make informed decisions at the ballot.
The descriptions provided by the candidates – mayoral candidates, councillors and school trustees – all list platform claims that are undeniably issues that are important to Surrey residents. However, the issues listed are so similar and repetitive that there is little to distinguish one candidate from the other.
In addition, sadly lacking is any meaningful information about the qualifications of the candidates; information that might provide support for their ability to achieve their claims.
Without information on their work experience and track record of past deliverables, how can voters assess whether their platform goals are ‘motherhood and apple pie’ statements or achievable goals?
To find out more about the background and experience of the candidates, I visited the election website at www.surrey.ca – however, even on the city website, the backgrounds lack adequate details.
Voters should be able to read about candidates’ education, work experience and past deliverables in order to assess the merit of each candidate.
I am also concerned that many voters may not have access to the web version of the candidates’ background; these readers rely on the newspaper as a prime source of information.
In addition to asking candidates for their top three issues and platform statements, it would be useful to have a response to the questions: “What qualities do you have that will allow you to do the job?” “What evidence can you provide?” “Why should I vote for you?”
I hope in the future, as editor, you will provide readers with the ‘reality’ of candidates – who will be our subsequent elected representatives – in addition to the rhetoric of the platform statements.
Diane Salter, Surrey