The election isn’t the end of the show!

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Added: Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:35pm
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Now that both municipal election dates have come and gone and the population
has chosen their municipal and MRC representatives (see complete results page 9), many voters may think the show is over, just because they placed their ballots in the appropriate boxes.
Indeed, we have completed a hugely important task, especially given the number of candidates and contested seats in this election, but the show's just getting started folks, so please remain seated. And, don't get too comfortable! This isn't the type of show where you are expected to sit back, grab a snack, relax, and remain silent in the audience until the credits roll. Surprise! We all have another equally important role to play in this four-year series.
Over the last month of the campaign period, we've all come into contact with
many “honest”, “reliable”, “hard-working”, “accountable”, “transparent”, and “committed” people, each with their own visions and ideas for change, improvement and progress. Now that the over 120 people filling the region's council seats have been decided – either by election or acclamation – voters have the additional responsibility of ensuring elected officials remain aware of the public's concerns, ideas and feedback, are staying true to the labels they placed on themselves during the campaign, and are following through with their election promises. The public needs to be asking questions, demanding answers, critiquing, submitting feedback, making suggestions, etc.
This is especially true for our new warden, elected for the first time via universal suffrage. This new public position comes with an increased price tag – for the election and the boosted salary – as well as the responsibility and promise of better results, apparently proven in other MRCs. We should have higher
expectations for our region's new “full-time” representative (which will set a precedent for future wardens), but the public also needs to contribute to this person's vision, actions, and focus, which will determine the direction Pontiac may take.
This is how a democracy is ideally meant to function; the process is totally ineffective if the public are silent bystanders instead of active
participants. This isn't a one-man band and there's no room for lone-wolves.
Of course, not everything will happen immediately and results can't be expected overnight, so it also requires long-term involvement, dialogue, and communication, which means keeping up-to-date on current municipal and regional issues. Remaining informed is fairly easy: reading local newspapers or listening to local radio stations, attending council or MRC meetings, or following municipal websites, bulletins and social media pages are good ways to keep in the loop.
It's a fairly easy, often thankless and unnoticed, but extremely critical task that does make a difference. This show's just getting started folks, so let's be sure to make the best efforts to make it an award winner!

Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor