Imagine crossing Georgia Strait on 32.5 per cent of a ferry. Driving 32.5 per cent of a motorcycle. Getting 32.5 per cent of a paycheque.
Or getting 32.5 per cent on your final exam. Ouch.
It’s not our intent to come across as a grizzled school marm here, but a 32.5 per cent voting turnout is not Surrey at its finest. In fact, it’s a flunk grade. Dunce cap stuff.
Out of an estimated 337, 289 eligible voters in Surrey, 109,791 votes were cast in this election for a voter turnout of 32.5 per cent. The civic election in 2014 turnout was not much better, with 101,588 cast ballots making for a 35.3 per cent voter turnout.
Delta did better, with a 43.32 per cent voter turnout as did White Rock, with 38 per cent. That’s still under 50 per cent, though. Do not cue thunderous applause.
Like Surrey, Vancouver’s voter turnout also dropped to 39 per cent from 43 in 2014.
Langley’s turnout was 24 per cent and New Westminster’s, 28 per cent.
All told, voter turnout in British Columbia, for the 2018 civic elections, was at 36 per cent.
In Surrey’s case, 32.5 per cent of registered voters did the relatively light lifting of going out to vote, while 67.5 per cent didn’t bother.
The outcome, like it or not, is that 100 per cent of a city council was elected Saturday to run the city for the next four years. A lot of good, but also a lot of damage, can be done in four years.
Ultimately, the 67.5 per cent of Surrey voters who didn’t bother to exercise their franchise have lost 100 per cent of their complaining rights for the next four years, in good conscience anyway.
Surely we can do better.