OUR VIEW: Grumble about elections – then vote

It’s easy to get cynical about our democracy

As the acrimonious machinations of federal Parliament spun inevitably into Canada’s third national election campaign in five years, most voters just shrugged their shoulders.

Wearied by years of recession and recovery, higher fuel prices, a yo-yoing dollar, escalating international conflicts and maybe even Charlie Sheen’s ranting, they just want the politicians to do their jobs.

The politicians are quick to blame each other for the $300 million expense of another election that is as likely as not to end up with the very same or similar result as the previous two minority Conservative governments.

In British Columbia, voters face the daunting prospect of as many as three trips to the polls this year—the federal election, municipal elections in November and a possible provincial election if new premier Christy Clark makes good on her pledge to seek an early mandate. We’ll even have a mail-in referendum on the HST in June.

The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Bahrain and any number of dictatorial states feeling the stirrings of democracy should have such problems.

As we whine about campaign signs being erected on public boulevards, or vitriolic attack ads cluttering our TV viewing, Egyptians are still trying to figure out what their successful ouster of their president means to their country and Libyans trying to free themselves from the murderous 42-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi are dodging bullets.

For most voters election campaigns are a series of contrived photo opportunities and divisive rhetoric, a test of endurance rather than a celebration of democracy. It’s easy to get cynical about our parliamentary system when it’s all we know. Every time we get the chance to vote, we are given the opportunity to enact change. No international sanctions or no-fly zones required. It’s worth thinking about that when we ponder whether to tune out this federal election.

— New Westminster Leader

Just Posted

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

InspireHealth workshop in Campbell River supports those with cancer

The free event takes place at Berwick by the Sea on Feb. 2

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read