With two elections this year – the Federal Election just confirmed for July 2 and Council elections on September 10 – it has become clear that Highlands Votes will be unable to cover them.
Highlands Votes was founded four years ago ahead of the 2012 council elections with a view to providing another voice in local election and political coverage. At the time, I felt that existing outlets were too tied up commercial imperatives to bother with proper coverage, a problem that has only gotten worse over time.
Unfortunately, it is clear that few councillors take this kind of outlet seriously. They are not interested in responding and providing information in detail about their plans. This may be because I am perceived to be a partisan writer, even though I have been loudly critical of all candidates and parties where warranted. It may be that they simply don’t feel the need to be open and honest with the public. The federal and state candidates I’ve interviewed in the last four years have been significantly more willing to talk than councillors. Whatever the case, this has hampered my ability to cover elections and council in particular in ways I would have wanted.
I had hoped other writers would come on board and offer their take. I repeatedly offered councillors the chance to have un-edited op-eds published, but none took up the opportunity. This meant all content development has come down to what little time I have available outside of my day job and community activities.
In the last four years, I got married, had cancer, and started (and have nearly finished) a PhD thesis. At the time of writing, the thesis in particular is my main focus, and detracts significantly from any time I can dedicate to this site.
I will leave the site live for awhile, but I won’t be actively updating it. Thanks for reading.
~ Travis Holland