(Photo by Dawn Gibson/Victoria News)

EDITORIAL: How many candidates is too many for voters?

Victoria residents have eight mayoral candidates to choose from next month

The upcoming Victoria municipal election is oversaturated given the number of mayoral and council candidates, in a city where less than half of the residents show up to cast a vote.

In 2014, when just 39 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots, Mayor Lisa Helps was elected from a pool of eight candidates. She wound up beating two-term incumbent Dean Fortin by just 89 votes, leaving one to wonder whether the spread might have been greater with less candidates or a higher turnout of voters.

Those elements are largely the same this time around, with eight mayoral candidates in the mix and 17 vying for councillor seats.

A recent addition to the mayor’s race is RyMo (see story page 5) – who ran for council last time as Ryan Moen. He’s running under a pseudonym to draw more attention to the election and get more people to vote. While his intentions are admirable, another name on the list could further spread votes away from candidates who are fully prepared and committed to serve if elected.

Consider this: In Victoria in 2014, someone identified as Changes the Clown ran for mayor and collected 253 votes. Not only was that a higher tally than three other candidates, it was 164 more than Helps’ razor-thin win margin.

Gary Beyer, considered by some a strong contender for mayor, acknowledged the possibility of a watered down vote and recently bowed out of the race.

It brings to question whether active demonstrations, such as going for the City’s top job to bring more attention to the election, really works to get people voting or is it a hindrance to promoting a strong democracy?

Come Oct. 20, voters will be tasked with choosing from many options. While some will cast their votes based on personal knowledge of the candidates, human nature will see others go on name recognition when scanning through a long list.

And for those looking to cast a protest vote? That option will be there as well.

Just Posted

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Expect traffic delays at Burnside and Douglas this week for new bus lanes

Prep work runs Tuesday through Thursday while paving takes place Friday

Victoria police searching for missing 18-year-old

Austin Bennett-Frechette is known to frequent the Greater Victoria Public Library

Victoria Cool Aid Society looks to beautify city with art

New mural to be unveiled Tuesday meant to inspire hope

Small homeless camp removed at Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich

CRD staff say the camp is not connected to Camp Namegans in Goldstream

UrbaCity raises record-breaking $70,000 for Island Prostate Centre

240 racers, corporate sponsors fill the coffers for the cause

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

Designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Most Read