EDITORIAL – The ‘will of the majority’ is about those who bother to vote

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE SEEMS TO BE a misconception that the legitimacy of a vote is dependent on the number of people voting.

During the PSAC strike there was consternation over the fact that only a third of the 100,000 public servants in one bargaining unit voted on the walkout. There were questions around voting deadlines but the validity of the vote was upheld based on the fact 80 per cent of those who did vote supported the strike.

The labour board ruled it was a fair indication of what the vote result would have been no matter how many members cast ballots.

Which, in a roundabout way, makes the point that our democratic system depends on those who show up, not those who stay home and complain.

This is very much the case with municipal elections. There are still those who insist the results of last October’s vote would have been different if there had been a bigger turnout or fewer candidates. That’s just idle blather.


Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired daily newspaper editor. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – The ‘will of the majority’ is about those who bother to vote

  1. Sometimes it does appear stuff we don’t like happens, sometimes the opposite takes place regardless of who is making the decisions. Hence I ask myself Is voting truly necessary? I voted in every election I could participate in, on two continents…so you know.

    • It is of my humble opinion the greater the voter turn out & engagment the greater the chance our elected officals will keep on the streight & narrow working in the best interest of the greater good of everybody. As it helps keep everything in check as apathy is dangerous. I like you have voted every time I was able to. 🙂

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