Dear Editor:

The term gross national happiness was coined in 1972 by Bhutans then King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. I believe we could learn from Bhutan and create our own gross local happiness to try improve the economic and social wellness in the Columbia Valley.

With the elections coming and unfortunately some positions taken unopposed, there needs to be a change. Those elected need to hear the voice of the people; not just before the election, but after they win their seats. How close are these candidates to the valley populations wants and needs?

The king of Bhutan recently walked 80 kilometres through his country to meet as many people as he could. How are the current candidates promoting ease of access to exchange ideas and possible solutions to the economic downturn?

A sign posted on the street saying vote for me is not original, nor does it entice me to a call to action. We need leaders who can think outside the box and past a signboard. What happened to knocking on doors and simple conversation?

Well-paying jobs are scarce; houses are for sale and people are leaving. What are the short-term and long-term plans and goals of the local candidates? How are they planning to best serve the valley and the positions they hold?

Promotion of the valley and leadership has never been needed more. Empty store fronts should be an affront to everyone!

Where are their definitive ideas, or platforms to address some of these issues? With all the free social media tools available, I could only find one candidate who is actively promoting and engaging. If you cant advertise yourself, how is one to believe you can market, promote or improve our future landscape in any way? Promoting yourself is a tool, and when a tool no longer does the job, you change it! What changes are these candidates ready for or are they already planning?

The days of complacency and apathy should be gone. We need to hold ourselves and those we vote for accountable for the next three years.

Your vote is your voice, and I truly believe that if we leave our gross local happiness in the hands of those who are inactive and silent then this valley will become a moot point!

T Hansen