Provincial, federal and municipal elections in British Columbia all occurring in less than a year has got to be the biggest high that political junkies can ever hope for.Â Perhaps now we can settle down to living life unexposed to multiple signs promoting one or another candidate or cause.
Following the federal campaign, I have one wish that probably will not be granted. ItÂ is that all parties and all candidates bring honesty, integrity and good taste to their next election.Â
There is nothing wrong with promoting the strength of a candidate or a party and trying to have their own weaknesses seem minor nor is there any problem in pointing out the weakness of your opposition.
The hate campaign advertisements of this federal election made me ashamed of the country we have become.Â I found them very offensive regardless of which party they supported.Â It is little wonder that the electorate continues to have a low regard for politicians and politics.Â
Getting down into the gutter is a poor way of promoting greater participation in the process.Â What does this tell our young people?Â There must be a place for both good taste and integrity.Â
We live in a privileged society with not only the right to participate in the political process but to also actively promote our beliefs of what is good and what is not. It is a privilege that most of the world does not have.
Get out your pen or fire up the computer and write or email the party headquarters letting them know your opinions. Perhaps by the time the next federal election is held we can have some positive impact.Â
Get involved and remember to vote for policy you think is right. Â Don’t just vote against a candidate or party because you are miffed at taxes, services or whatever.Â All politicians know that a little protest can often gather steam and become a big problem.
With the results on Monday, we will be back in the same process in the near future.Â My prediction is that we will be going back to the polls in September or October 2008 just twenty-nine or thirty months from now.Â The Harper government will likely get some room as the Liberals find and elect a new leader.Â A working arrangement between the Conservatives and NDP would be superficial and likely not have any staying power.Â
There are many items of business that they will have in common, such as finding a way to make government responsive.
Other issues such as the Kelowna agreement will make for interesting discussions.Â The debate will not be about taking action, but about what action is appropriate.Â There is always common agreement about the direction our country should take but which path to follow is where ideologies clash.
Thanks must be extended to all the candidates who participated.Â They put themselves on the line with their thoughts and ideals.Â They spent time and a heck of a lot of energy to make the process happen.Â Without them, there would be no election and no democracy.
With Dick Harris and Jay Hill moving to the government side of the house for the first time, it will be interesting to see what they deliver.Â These two members from rural ridings along with their colleagues in Ottawa will have the opportunity to promote and assist the region in a manner that has not been done for decades.
The future is in the rural resource areas, not in the rabbit warrens of Vancouver.Â It is an opportunity for the Conservative Government, which has the rural support, to refocus policy.Â If they succeed, areas like ours will have a better chance for a bright and prosperous future.