Municipal elections are just weeks away and with that in mind Pique is looking at what issues are top of mind for voters. This week's feature is a chance for "everyday" residents to reflect on what matters most to them as we head toward the Nov. 19 election date. It is, after all, about choice - who we chose to support and on what issues our votes turn. Over the coming weeks Pique will continue to investigate the issues as well as tell you about the candidates. Readers will find complete coverage in the paper as well as online at www.piquenewsmagazine.com.
''Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.''
Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President
Every year around this time, all Whistler's thoughts turn to the burning question: When will the snow come? Once every three years, that heightened anticipation is tempered by the prospect of a municipal election. For some, it's an eagerly awaited ritual through which we renew our people-powered democracy. For others, it's another exercise in delayed disappointment.
But it seems, for many of us, it's all about hope. It's about the hope we can, by letting our opinions be known and finding candidates we've determined share them, nudge this town a little further along the road towards the kind of place we hope it will become. Of course, what you want it to become and what I want it to become may be quite different things, but politics is the art of compromise, the art of what's possible. And that's where it gets interesting enough to make us, momentarily at least, forget about whether it's snowing or not.
On a clear, Thursday evening at the end of September, ten Whistlerites were invited to come to the library and spend a couple of hours engaged in the town's favourite, seasonal, non-contact sport: discussing local politics. Nine made it. That they all made it on time was, perhaps, the first indication the upcoming municipal election has taken on a gravitas somewhat weightier than past races. Especially since so few candidates had announced by then.
Drawn from a reasonably diverse cross-section of residents, the roundtable participants agreed to come with an open mind, a thoughtful approach and a willingness to forego forceful debate, settling instead for calm discussion. Who were they? Glad you asked.
Danielle Kristmanson is a two-decade local and the owner and partner in Origin Design and Communications, a marketing and creative agency. With two young children, Danielle's been active on numerous boards responsible for children's activities and is currently a board member of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.