What's in a name?
Well, if you consider the results of this week's municipal election in Airdrie, quite a lot, as it turns out.
With every incumbent candidate winning re-election for Airdrie City council on Oct. 18, as well as the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees, it shows once again how important name recognition is when it comes to our local election results.
Even the newcomers for RVS' Ward 3 and Airdrie City council enjoy some name recognition, in a sense. Incoming RVS trustee Fred Burley was a long-time Airdrie City councillor and a former mayoral candidate before running for an RVS trustee seat, while City council's newcomer Heather Spearman is the daughter of a long-serving Lethbridge mayor and school board trustee.
(That's not to take anything away from Spearman, who ran a solid campaign. She gave, in our newsroom's view, some of the best answers of any candidate during the two official forums, and we feel she will be a valuable member of council).
While continuation on council can be a good thing, it can lead to complacency. We hope the many re-elected candidates don't grow to feel entitled to their positions, and we encourage Airdrie citizens to keep up to date with the goings-on of local politics and hold them to account.
A worrisome statistic continues to be Airdrie's low voter turnout, with just 22 per cent of eligible voters turning up to cast their ballot this year – a two per cent drop from 2017.
We were, like many Airdronians, disappointed in the woeful turnout. We are curious what it is about municipal elections that causes so few local residents to practise their democratic right and responsibility.
Certainly, some residents will complain about the election results and the lack of change, but with less than a quarter of eligible Airdrie residents turning up to vote this year, most of these complainants don't really have a leg to stand on.