Bullet Point News spoke with Professor Emeritus Nelson Wiseman on the trends of municipal elections, applied to Stouffville:
- Many incumbents won in Stouffville’s municipal election. According to Professor Wiseman, incumbents tend to win municipal elections.
- Ballots without party affiliations or other signals leave many voters casting their vote based on name recognition. Non-incumbents might try to increase name recognition by networking in the community.
- Lovatt (51.67%) and Altmann (26.04%) both previously ran for mayor while Carroll (11.33%) served on council. Name recognition likely contributed to their success.
- Melanie Wright, who won York Region District School Board trustee as a non-incumbent in a 6-candidate race, diverges from the trend.
- While party politics at the municipal level might help orient voters, it would limit possibilities for alliances and decision-making on council. There is no “confidence convention,” meaning councillors are more free to vote against the mayor.
- Stouffville’s voter turnout of 34.19% compares well to other municipalities, but reflects the long-term downward trend of voter turnout.
- Voting is an individual decision. By not voting, one essentially assents to the decision-making of fellow citizens. Some countries, like Australia, mandate voting. But democracy is more than the number of people who turn up to vote.