Editor, The News:
Finally, the election is over. Congratulations to Dan Ruimy on his victory.
For me, the election campaign had many lows and some high-points.
The lows included the hysterical comments made by the many anti-Harper supporters. One would think we were nearing total destruction with no hope left. Irrational, extreme, opinions based on one-sided interpretations of policies made by a democratically elected government. People pleading for everyone to vote for ‘the only party capable of beating our local Conservative candidate,’ to ignore personal choice or belief in who would best serve Pitt-Meadows Maple Ridge or what party had proposed the best policies for Canada.
One man had to be defeated at any cost.
It was a relief and a high-point that the pleas didn’t deter voters.
Another low point was the total destruction of many election signs, not just knocking them over so that they could be repaired, but totally mutilating them. Actions of people who don’t believe in the democratic process, but rather believe any action or response that supported their candidate and hurt those of the others were appropriate.
The greatest high-point occurred, for me, on election night. I worked for Election’s Canada as a poll person at a local polling station. Regardless of all the negativity, Election’s Canada and its organizing team did an incredible job. Congratulations to them for a job well done.
The poll workers only received a few hours of training, but worked a very long day – 15 hours for us.
Thanks to the party representative who delivered coffee and donuts to us – very much appreciated.
At our desk, I was totally amazed at the number of first-time voters, both young and old. We had voters in their 50s who were voting for the first time who had to be instructed on how to mark their ballots. We had a large number of students, which was great to see.
Our oldest voter a gentleman of 92, or the 88-year-old woman who struggled in with the aid of a walker. We had a blind person, and others with various disabilities.
We had numerous voters who just moved to Maple Ridge from all across Canada. I never realized we had so many different ethnic people living in Maple Ridge, some proudly voting for the first time as Canadians, people from Africa, the Balkans, Poland, and the Ukraine; and representatives of many of the minority groups we all read about but rarely meet. All of them coming to one place to participate in electing a government, and happy and proud to do so.
We had a protestor wearing a mask wanting to vote, and we had a few angry people, but all the workers at our polling station from the information officers to our supervisor did a great job.
What I saw during the long election day made me proud to be a Canadian, to live in a country where regardless of our many differences, opinions or beliefs we all have one thing in common: we all have the privilege of choosing the people who govern us.