There are a number of ways to be part of democracy

Speak up and be heard

The very idea of a democracy is grounded in the concept that power is vested in the people.

Our system is designed to ensure that each person has an equal opportunity to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns.

Your voices are the foundation upon which our democracy is built. Your participation is vital in the process of good governance.

Without your voice, I am unable to accurately represent your needs and interests.

In addition, this involvement by citizens is instrumental in holding representatives accountable. Through our conversations, town hall meetings, and via other communication platforms, you challenge me and fellow representatives to be transparent, responsible, and dedicated to serving our communities.

This accountability forms the cornerstone of a healthy democracy, keeping us all in check and ensuring the government is acting in the best interest of its citizens.

The time that I am home is a great opportunity to see and hear from many of you.

That’s why my focus this summer is to hear your voice and give more opportunities for communication and understanding.

For example, I am hosting several town halls and coffee meetings, to hear from more Kelowna residents and listen to concerns.

The first town hall is Wednesday, July 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Kelowna Christian Centre at 905 Badke Road.

The next one will be on Aug. 14 at Sun City Cherries, followed by one in Kettle Valley for parents and kids on Aug. 22.

These are open forums and my hope is that we have full rooms and long lines to the microphone.

What else can you do to get involved and ensure our democratic system thrives?

Read the news, or write letters or emails to your elected officials. I always ask a question at the end of these columns. I read every response and your insights provide me with a crucial perspective on the issues that matter most to our community.

This next way may seem obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. Vote. Voting is one of the most powerful tools you have to influence government policies. Make sure you’re registered, know when and where to vote, and encourage others to do the same.

Volunteer or join a local group. Whether it’s a community service organization, a local political party, or a special interest group, getting involved in these groups is a great way to participate in the democratic process.

Run for office. If you feel passionate about making a difference, consider running for a public office. Our democracy thrives when a diverse range of voices is present at all levels of government.

In conclusion, the essence of democracy lies in the active participation of its citizens. I urge each of you to raise your voice, ask tough questions, and get involved. By doing so, we collectively ensure that our democratic system continues to flourish, is reflective of our community’s needs, and remains responsive to changing times.

My question this week:

How would you like me to connect with you as MLA?

I love hearing from you and read every email that you write.

Please write me at [email protected] or call the office at 250-712-3620.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More MLA Minute articles

About the Author

Renee Merrifield is the BC United MLA for Kelowna - Mission and the Opposition critic for Environment and Climate Change, as well as Gender, Equity and Inclusion.  She currently serves on the Select Standing Committee for Finance as well.

A long-time resident of Kelowna, Renee started, and continues to lead, many businesses from construction and development to technology. Renee is a compassionate individual who cares about others in the community, believes in giving back and helping those in need through service.

She values your feedback and conversation, and can be reached at [email protected] or 250.712.3620

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories