If You Don't Run, WHO WINS? - Aug.17 update
As of 2pm this afternoon, there are only TWO DAYS left until nominations close for the 2022 Municipal Elections.
We're excited to report that, since we launched our "If You Don't Run, Who Wins?" campaign last week, FOURTEEN new candidates have put their names forward, and we still know of two more who were inspired to put their nomination papers together, but have not yet registered.
Yay for democracy in action!
The biggest winners are the residents of Ward 4, who so far have SEVEN candidates to choose from for Councillor, followed closely by Ward 6 residents with five candidates, and Wards 2 & 10 tied with four.
The residents still staring down a desert of democracy are those in Wards 5 & 7, and those registered for the French Catholic School Board, as all three incumbents are still set to be acclaimed with no challengers. C'mon, Barrie, we can do better, can't we?
We only have two 2-way races left for Councillors in Wards 3 & 8, and four 2-way races for Trustees in SCDSB 1 & 2 (city wards 1-6), Catholic Board Ward 1 (city wards 1-5) and the French Board. Two is definitely better than one, but three or more candidates in each ward is ideal.
And still, only one-quarter of registered candidates are women.
Nominations close at 2pm on Friday – you will need to have collected all 25 nomination signatures (preferably more, for safety's sake) to submit your papers.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking of running, it's not too late, but ACT QUICKLY!
Still need help deciding?
Take a look at our "If you don't run, who wins?" campaign page– to help break through some of the myths that keep people from running for office, and give a little more encouragement to those who are interested but wary.
We've also got tons of helpful information for candidates and their supporters over at our "Candidate Info" page, and will be adding more over the next little while.
You can't win a race if you don't enter it. But even more importantly, even if you don't win the race, our community wins by having your perspective and ideas and passions brought to the table.
The rest of this post is a repeat from our original "If You Don't Run, WHO WINS?" campaign launch):
In order to achieve a healthy democracy, the people of Barrie need to have more candidates to choose from, and a more diverse slate of candidates bringing their ideas to the table.
So what's the problem if representatives are acclaimed?
With no challengers, those set to be acclaimed don't have to defend their positions – or even state their positions – or try hard at all to show us they'd be good at the job.
If only one candidate runs they have a 100% chance of winning.
But the public has a 0% chance of having their voices heard as part of the election process!
If you've been unhappy or frustrated with the choices our current and previous Councils have been making, it's even more important to encourage more people – and more diverse people – to run for Council, so that all residents' voices can be properly represented.
While there are certainly valid barriers to some individuals tossing their hat in the ring this time out, many of the reasons we've heard people give for not running are not the giant obstacles you may think they are. We've put together a few of the most common ones we hear at https://www.engagebarrie.org/run-for-council – check them out, and if you can think of any more, please contact us, and our Elections Committee will get to work on finding the answers for you.
Can't run this time, but still want to get involved?
Encourage and support someone who you think would be a great candidate
Take a look at the registered candidates, and offer your assistance to one whose platform most speaks to you – whether it's handing out flyers, keeping them organized, or just bringing them a meal on a busy day, they'd all appreciate whatever you have to contribute
Contact the candidates in your area about the issues most important to you
Attend or volunteer at all-candidates meetings (we'll be needing some volunteers in the fall, hint, hint...)
Did we convince you to run?
Nomination forms are available 24/7 at https://www.barrie.ca/City%20Hall/election/Pages/Information-for-Candidates.aspx – don't leave it to the last minute to collect your 25+ nomination signatures!
We've got lots of information and resources for candidates and their supporters at https://www.engagebarrie.org/candidate-info – with more added weekly.