I love elections.
As a citizen, it makes me feel like I am participating in something noble and good, even though sometimes it feels like nothing much ever changes.
As an observer, they’re exciting, almost like a sport, they evoke the spectrum of human emotion.
As a newspaper editor, they’re a gift, guaranteed content for at least the writ period and usually a couple of weeks before and after.
I was very happy to see the municipal byelection going forward. That one is unavoidable and I think it would have been a shame if candidates had not stepped up to contest it and thus initiate the opportunity for discourse on the direction of Smithers going forward.
I am none too happy, though, with the snap provincial election call on Sept 21 or the prospect of a similar federal announcement in the coming days.
One cannot, of course, know for sure what is in the mind, or the heart of the premier, but it would certainly appear to be something cynical.
I cannot help but speculate that the exodus of several high profile cabinet ministers very recently was the writing on the wall despite their adamant protests they had no idea if or when it was coming. And why? Yeah, yeah more time with family… yada, yada, yada.
I like to think the real reason is they could not in good conscience go along with such an ill-conceived and unnecessary plan.
I don’t want to cast aspersions, but honestly, does anybody believe this is about British Columbians needing more stability in our government.
Going into elections, we all have hopes and fears for the outcome. We cheer on the champions of our ideas and beliefs and relish the stumbles of those who do not share our vision.
But when the dust settles, polling shows time and again, what Canadians want is for the parties to bury the hatchet and work together to get stuff done until the next time around. The next legitimate time around, that is.
If ever there was a time for collaboration and cooperation, it is now. And it was working.
Nobody wants an election right now, except it seems, the B.C. NDP.
Why is that?
It smacks of opportunism.
I tend to be idealistic about democracy, that it’s about the betterment of society, that people are drawn to public service for noble reasons.
As such, I try to give politicians the benefit of the doubt.
But this kind of politics makes me question whether it’s just about the power and the money.
I seriously don’t want to be and try not to be cynical, but this kind of thing really makes it hard not to be.
It is very disillusioning.