In the last provincial election according to both statistics and the mainstream media, 50% of the people did not vote.
I have said for a long time that is not true. I believe most people are voting when they don’t show up at the polls. I think they are voting in a way most people are not accustomed to. They are voting with their feet!
That means by not showing up at the polls and voting with a pencil they are voting in a different way saying that politics doesn’t matter because the way politicians and people in the backrooms conduct business and themselves is not relevant and is a waste of their time.
Martyn Browns new book reaffirms what I have felt for a while.
Brown’s excellent book, Towards a New Government in British Columbia, could just as easily be entitled Towards a New Government in any Province. To wit: just look at the gong show that is known as an election in Quebec.
There are no platforms revealed and it is basically 3 parties at war with each other while 1 of those parties is also taking on the country.
I am surprised the polls show anybody will vote.
In our province,BC, the Conservatives and the Liberals are at war with each other while the BC NDP hasn’t said much of anything other than they will have something to say when the election is on relative to their platform.
I am also surprised the polls show anybody will vote.
I have been involved in backroom discussion at municipal, provincial, federal and the board level. I can tell you the discussion revolves around 3 questions. They are: How do we get young people involved, how do we get women involved and how do we reach the 50% of the people who don’t vote.
I can also tell you from discussions with friends in all parties they are the same questions they all ask.
The answer, as Brown clearly says and he is right is this: If you keep going the way you are you can’t and won’t.
Why would they?
Elections and governments always go the same way. One side wins,hangs on for a few terms and gets booted out either by scandal or for not doing the few things they pledged to do during the election.
What about the favorite expression coined in the media around North America. That would be ” It’s the first year of their mandate, they are doing the hard things now so they don’t have to do them near election time” or some similar coined phrase.
What about politicians who run on this’ we are here to do politics differently’ and then they don’t.
We elect politicians and governments for 4 year terms and expect them to carry out the work for the whole four years not one and buy my vote for the other three.
I have argued for term limits on these pages and that would be a start but even with a limited term there would still be time for shenanigans.
We, the voting public, need to hold governments and wanna be governments to account.
It is no longer good enough to wait until the election to reveal a platform.
It is no longer good enough to vote for faux change.
We need term limits and tough recall laws.
What we need most, however, are politicians who are not afraid to lay it on the line. People who will talk out loud about what they will do,why they will do it and then stick to the course and not break our hearts.
We need the backrooms and the parties to stop going to war.
It’s no longer good enough to go to the polls and vote for more of the same.
Something drastic has to happen.
For until it does, this former backroom guy, will join the 50 % and vote with my feet.
I don’t see that I have much choice!