With 58,000 members, the Peninsula Coop has a larger "population" than all but two municipalities in this region, though the voter turnout is even worse than local government with only a 3.1% turnout in 2011. One of the reasons the voter turnout is so low is that only certain people automatically get an election package mailed to them. I am not sure what percentage of people get a package mailed to them, but it suspect it is a less than 50% of members, but that is likely because many members are inactive.
The criteria of who gets a package automatically mailed to them:
Election packages will be mailed to members in May 2012. To balance fiscal responsibility of election costs on behalf of our members through controlling costs, members meeting the following criteria will receive an election package automatically:
- Members who registered to vote in the 2011 Election of Directors.
- Members who joined Peninsula Co-op after April 2, 2011 (which was the eligibility cut-off date for the 2011 Election of Directors.
- Members with food store purchases of $100 or greater during the period of April 4, 2010 to April 2, 2011.
- Members with combined petroleum & convenience store purchases of $1,000 or greater during the period of April 4, 2010 to April 2, 2011.
I find the third criteria interesting, it would certainly ensure that food store shoppers are most likely to get packages mailed to them. Since the store is in Central Saanich it would mean that people on the peninsula are most likely to be get a voting package. We qualify because we spent $1,823.96 on fuel last year.
In understand why the Coop does not want to mail a package to everyone, but it increases the chances that people will not vote. Also the lack of any opposition will likely reduce the turn out as well. I will be surprised if even 2% of the members vote. The Friends of Peninsula Co-op has been dormant for some time now. The Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich have also been quiet on the Coop.
I can understand why people do not vote, most of us are members to save money on our fuel purchases. Most people do not have enough information to make a well considered decision on who to vote for and really do care enough to get informed.
The bios of the candidates will be available after May 16th, I am interested to see who was nominated and who is recommended by the nomination committee. When they come out, I will post my comments on them. My hope would be that some people read some of what I write on this and take the time to take part in the election.
You can still get an election package:
Following April 30, 2012 members can contact the administrative office to request an election package be mailed to them. Election packages will be available up to the close of voting.