No election required – Winnipeg Free Press

About a dozen municipalities in Manitoba will not hold council elections in October due to the absence of challengers, concerns about the public interest and a toxic climate in politics.

In some places there are not enough candidates to fill every seat.

Entire councils in at least 10 towns or rural municipalities have been applauded, following Tuesday’s deadline for nominations and Wednesday’s cut-off for withdrawals.

supplied picture

Cindy Keldonk.

“I don’t remember the frequency of it,” said Cindy Kelendonc, running for councilor in the rural municipality of Lac du Bonnet.

The figure may increase. Some municipalities have not sent their list of candidates to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities as of Wednesday afternoon.

According to AMM’s running tally, councils were commended in Arborg, Minto-Odanah, Montcalm, RM of Portage la Prairie, Prairie View, Riverdale, Rowland, Saint-Pierre-Jollis, Swan River and Victoria.

The Dunnotar and Victoria Beach candidates received no challenge during the municipal elections in July.

The total does not include individual seats, including the two Winnipeg councilor positions, where no one is running against an incumbent or newcomer.

According to AMM’s online dashboard, out of the 109 candidates admired ahead of the October 26 elections, all except 23 are candidates.

Candidates and political observers told free Press There can be many reasons for congratulations.

“Quite (council heads) did not demand re-election for the same reason as in the last four years.”-Morden’s Mayor, Brandon Burley

Brandon Burley, acclaimed for a second term as mayor of Moderna, said there are “very few” races for council heads.

Read |  Joe Biden continues to name Rick Scott in GOP criticism

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has created unprecedented challenges and divisions in some communities, may be partly to blame.

“Like the last four years, a lot of (council heads) didn’t ask for re-election,” Burley said.

They are encouraged by over-crowded running in some municipalities, noting that it is healthy to compete for all positions because it brings about “differences” in opinions and views.

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Files

Brandon Burley was acclaimed for a second term as mayor of Morden.

For example, Morden has the highest number of candidates for councilor in the last four elections, Burley said.

Smaller communities tend to have fewer potential candidates.

In the rural municipality of Montcalm, there are not enough candidates to fill all of its council seats. The council will have to appoint someone to the vacant councilor post or call a by-election.

“This is extremely unusual,” said RM’s senior election official Jolene Byrd.

Winnipeg Beach, which went to the polls in July, is holding a by-election on October 7 to fill a seat that had fallen vacant.

Bird believes that a major spring flood and epidemic prevented people from walking into Montcalm.

Gail Lowen / RM of Portage

Portage La Prairie Counselor and Deputy Reeve Garth Asham.

Municipalities that don’t hold elections will end up saving money. For Montcalm, the savings would be about $5,000, Bird said.

Reeve Garth Asham, the deputy RM of Portage, said he couldn’t recall an election where the entire council was applauded.

“I don’t know the reason. I hope people have faith in us, that we are doing a great job,” he said.

Read |  Spotlight Politics: Aldermanic Exodus Continues, BGA Questions the Pritzker Blind Trust | Chicago News

Asham, who has been a councilor for 16 years, believes Manitobans are still interested in municipal politics.

He said that some potential candidates do not have time due to family, work or other commitments.

While the RM of the Council of Portage was lauded, there is no shortage of competition in the city of Portage, where four are running for the vacant mayor’s chair and 14 for the six councilor positions.

There is more competition for vacant seats, said Christopher Adams, an assistant professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba.

“I don’t know the reason. I hope people have confidence in us, that we’re doing a great job.”-Garth Asham, Deputy of Portage’s RM Why was the whole council applauded on Reeve?

In Winnipeg, 11 candidates are competing to replace Mayor Brian Bowman, who is not seeking a third term.

Adams said the turnout in municipal elections is low, so name recognition is important.

If there is an incumbent, he said, potential challengers may decide against running because they feel they don’t have a chance to win.

Low remuneration and “toxic debate” are among other off-putting factors.

When a full council is admired, the “glass half-full” perspective makes residents satisfied with their council, Adams said.

Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun Files

Brandon City Council member Sean Cameron.

There is a general lack of interest in being a member of the “glass half empty” scene council.

Adams said acclaimed candidates may not face the same level of public accountability that promises or gives a platform during campaigning or debate in an election.

Read |  Stanislaus County is red-faced over the message on the tax papers

In Brandon, no one is running against four incumbent councilors, including Sean Cameron.

Cameron said of his admiration, “I hope it’s a result of the work I do.”

He said an early victory would not prevent him from “putting out” his ideas to receive feedback from residents before his second term begins.

Cameron said the “polarization” in politics may discourage some people from contesting elections.

Kelendonk is part of a group called Let Women Lead, which is working to break down barriers and encourage more women to enter politics.

He believes that people are frustrated by the “passivity” they see on some level in the US and Canada.

“The viciousness of the political climate is turning off not only women, but men as well,” she said.

Kelendonk cited recent situations in Manitoba where female mayors were stripped of some of their duties by their own councils.

Of the 785 candidates reported to AMM as of Wednesday afternoon, 163 are women.

[email protected]

Twitter: @chriskitching

Chris Kitching

As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

Source link