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Letter: For whom should I vote?

When you enter the polling booth, I would ask you to remember: “The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour."

We, the citizens of Alberta, have important decisions to make on Monday, Oct. 18. In the last 18 months, our communities have been challenged with learning how to live in pandemic conditions. 

In some cases, this has resulted in differences and a diversity of opinion. More than ever our communities need strong and committed leaders who are well qualified for the position they seek. 

As we think about the future of our community, a central question emerges: “For whom shall I vote?” If you want to know how your chosen candidate will perform as a civic leader, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. 

To what extent has each candidate’s recent behaviour exhibited the following qualities:

• Me versus we: Civic leaders should focus on the needs of the community as a whole rather than their individual point of view. Service above self is more important than service about self. We need leaders who are able to assess the needs of our community, set priorities and make timely decisions. Does the candidate prioritize the individual or the needs of the community?

• Build up or tear down: The mayor and councillors have no individual powers. Power rests with the mayor and council as a group when they vote. They must work as a team. When voting, consider how the candidates you choose will work as a team. Do they have a track record of having difficult discussions and then abiding by council decisions? Or do they go “wild cat” when things don’t go their way?

• Engage or alienate: Each community has a unique set of challenges. We need leaders who can listen, make tough decisions and communicate within the council, with town staff and with the community. We want leaders who engage the community so that we move forward together not an individual who makes decisions that tear us apart. To what extent does the candidate bring people together versus divide the community?

• Integrity or not: Integrity means you tell the truth, admit your mistakes and keep your promises. To what extent has the candidate told the truth, admitted mistakes and kept their promises? We need leaders that have the strength of character to do the right thing. 

When you enter the polling booth, I would ask you to remember: “The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour."

Bill Hoppins,