Don we now our thinking cap

During an election campaign overexaggeration and yes, even outright mudslinging can occur.

As Oak Bay resident Jack Hull points out in his Guest Comment in today’s edition of the Oak Bay News, we must be vigilant in our critical thinking now that the ‘silly season’ is upon us.

During an election campaign – even in a municipality as genteel and polite as Oak Bay – overexaggeration and yes, even outright mudslinging can occur.

It’s time for all voters to put on their critical thinking caps and be prepared to check out the variety of claims made by those seeking elected office.

While it might make for a good sound bite, for anyone to promise they will make changes or halt a decision, each councillor and – indeed the mayor – only hold one vote.

If he or she is in the minority, their desire to slow the speed limit on a particular road, initiate a raccoon cull or give deer the vote in the next election will go no further than their lips.

Sewage treatment is just one of the many important topics the newly elected Oak Bay council will have to make decisions about. With two councillors not running for re-election, and a third running for the mayor’s seat, we know at least three new faces will sit at the table come December.

The percentage of voters going to the polls in Oak Bay has steadily risen since 2005 when a mere 29 per cent of eligible voters made their way to the ballot box. In 2008, the number rose to 36 per cent and in 2011 it went up to 42.05 per cent.

If this growing increase in voters means more residents are actively participating in our community, that is good news for all of us. Make sure you take your interest and put it to good use by learning more about the issues and the candidates, as well as what might be realistic for them to achieve in the future.