Regular Uniter readers are probably sick of seeing me ramble about the Uniter 30. But, I’ve got one last ramble, and it’s an important one: the voting period has been extended!
Folks now have until noon on Monday, Nov. 13 to vote in the Uniter 30, our annual readers’ poll in which Winnipeggers can nominate their favourite local people, places and events of 2023. (I suppose non-Winnipeggers can vote, too. I’m not going to track you down and find out where you live if you cast a ballot from Brandon.)
While we have physical ballots that people can drop off in our mailbox outside our office (room 0RM14 on the mezzanine level of the Bulman Centre at the University of Winnipeg), the vast majority of votes for the Uniter 30 are cast online. Historically, the biggest driver of online voting traffic has been through our social-media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. This year, with the Meta news ban essentially locking the public out of those accounts, it’s been especially hard to drum up votes.
This is why I wanted to extend the voting period by a few days, to give our readers more time to squeeze some last-minute ballots into the box. Like all other Canadian news publications, we’re being hurt by Meta’s policy. But when it comes to an initiative like the 30, it’s also hurting the local artists, businesses and personalities the poll is meant to highlight. The 30 is our way of letting our readers dictate our coverage and spotlight the local stuff they love.
It’s a shame that corporate greed from a multi-billion-dollar tech company in California has the power to stymie local community engagement in our little winter city. Such is the reality of the late capitalist hellscape that is 2023. So stick it to The Man by casting your vote. It only takes a couple minutes, and it lets your favourites know you love them.
Published in Volume 78, Number 09 of The Uniter (November 9, 2023)