Oct. 17, 2022

Election showed Nanaimo voters satisfied with status quo

Why do we have elections? The process of democracy is based on the population having an opportunity to pass judgment on the past administration and select those who meet their desires and wishes for the present and future.

More than 76,000 Nanaimo residents had the opportunity to vote but only 18,664 availed themselves of that right – less than one quarter.

To nobody’s surprise, Mayor Leonard Krog won by a landslide with 12,390 votes, topping Tasha Brown who got support from 4,207 voters. Agnes Provost and Brunie Brunie totalled under 800 each.

As I stated throughout the campaign, there was an identifiable group which voted fairly well in unison during the last term. This was the chance voters could judge what they represented, and the response was resounding, they rewarded Councillors Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens and Tyler Brown with a solid mandate. They will be joined by Paul Manly who topped the polls and newcomer Hilary Eastmure. 

An old election promise from ages gone by was "nickel beers and wider sidewalks." Prepare for more wider sidewalks.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong and Coun. Ian Thorpe both finished in the top four. Janice Perrino will be the third new face on the next council. To Coun. Don Bonner and Coun. Zeni Maartman, who didn’t make the cut, thank you for your service.

Disagreement is a healthy element of democracy. Just because two people have differing opinions does not mean that either one of them is wrong. An election is the process where we can choose the view that the majority prefers. In this case, the voters were quite comfortable with the philosophy of the past council, at least those voters who bothered to show up.

ELECTION SIDE NOTES - I made a litte side wager with Leonard Krog about the percentage of the votes he would capture. As it turned out, he's also a great prognosticator, getting two thirds of the vote. My prediction was out to lunch and that means I'll be buying lunch. Does McDonald's take reservations?

GENDER BALANCE - For the first time in history, we have gender balance among councillors, four females and four males. The election of Sheryl Armstrong, Erin Hemmens, Janice Perrino and Hilarty Eastmure is a milestone.

ELECTIONS DON'T JUST HAPPEN by themselves, there is a behind-the-scenes army that goes mostly unnoticed. When you look at handling all the details for about 76,000 eligible voters, a dozen voting locations, staffing all of them with hired and volunteer workers, making sure the process goes smoothly and then reporting the final results, that's a herculean achievement. There are all the known tasks but it boils down to one word – details. Thanks to Chief Electoral Officer and City Clerk Sheila Gurrie and her helpers for making sure everything went smooth as silk.

MAJOR UPHEAVAL – Preliminary figures showed that Ken Sim will be the new mayor of Vancouver and his ABC Vancouver party won a commanding majority of council, with all seven council candidates from the centre-right party topping the polls. All ABC candidates for school board and park board were also poised for victory.

WHOLESALE CHANGE – Not one single incumbent was re-elected Saturday in Langford, including Mayor Stewart Young. Scott Goodmanson got 53 per cent of the vote to defeat Young.