Earlier this week, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal was surprised to discover a rising number of people could actually be against public transit that upsets existing road infrastructure, increases traffic, requires years of construction inconvenience, and forces the city to go further into debt to support the cost of almost half a billion per mile to build. In his September 21st article, David says "I never expected Edmontonians to turn against LRT expansion, but that’s what is starting to happen."
Couldn't agree more, David. Yes, LRT is antiquated. Yes, perhaps when land and labour was much cheaper than it is today, maybe it made better sense years ago to build it. But I'm afraid that train has left the station.
But more startling than David's surprise is the realization that this election is all about what the people want. This election will not be decided by bureaucrats, or journalists or endorsements, or even incumbents who too need support of the people if they hope to be re-elected.
And that's what's so great about municipal politics. It isn't bound by a party system that forces politicians to vote based on party lines or backroom clubs. It's the promise that anyone can run, no matter your background or even your financial means. You simply have to be one of the people willing to work for the people who want to live in a great city while never forgetting what people want and expect from their elected leaders.
So no matter what you read in the paper, or hear from academics and retired politicians, the only opinion that matters is yours. And the most important vote is the one you make. It's our say for the city we want. We the people. You. Me. Us. So bring your issues to the candidates. Tell them what you want. And above all, on October 16th, make sure your voice is heard.