“When I grow up, I’m not going to read the newspaper and I’m not going to follow complex issues and I’m not going to vote. That way I can complain when government doesn’t represent me. Then, when everything goes down the tubes, I can say the system doesn’t work and justify my further lack of participation.” –Calvin and Hobbes
Our region has yet another candidate declaring his intentions in securing a position to fight for our interests.
We really are incredibly lucky to thus far have two NDP hopefuls (decision by Jan. 20). Duncan Barnett and Sushil Thapar have both entered the candidacy race and, in doing so, have showcased their commitment to our communities.
Liberal candidate Coralee Oakes has declared her earnest intentions and we are luckier for it. And, of course, there’s incumbent Independent MLA Bob Simpson seeking re-election for a region much richer for having him.
Our problem is not a lack of interest from dedicated, passionate individuals willing to give up family, friends and their life to ensure the voices of the Cariboo are heard.
Our issues do not lie with party politics and Hurtland catch-phrases. Our hurdles are not simply industry, crumbling infrastructure, an aversion to ANY tax, budget cuts, diversification, healthcare, education, sustainability and the environment.
Our tallest mountain, our Achilles’ heel, our pitiful pitfall lies with our apathy.
The last provincial election saw three candidates vowing their commitment, passion and voice for Cariboo North residents and while these three men (Simpson, Liberal Bruce Ernst and Green Doug Gook) put themselves in the line of fire, attendance both at debates and at the polling stations was… for lack of a better word: embarrassing.
We don’t need to be Rick Mercer’s of politics, no one is being asked to PVR Question Period or spend hours on end pouring over provincial issues. But surely we can pay a wee bit of attention to the issues our region is facing, what our candidates stand for and what they plan to do about it.
Pretty simple. This is our region, these are our people, this is our future – get involved.
–Autumn MacDonald, Observer