I’m not sure why I bother to vote in provincial and federal elections in this riding. The results are always very one-sided in favour of the candidate running for the most conservative, right-of-centre party in the election (that would be the provincial Liberals and the federal Conservatives).
If you don’t believe me, just look back on the past 25 years of elections for this district. I guess I’m crazy (when a person does the same thing over and over again, expecting different results).
In fact, the whole Okanagan votes much the same way. Why is that? I suspect that the population demographics of our area have a lot to do with it. There are a large number of retired senior citizens in the valley. Many retirees come from Alberta, a bastion of conservative voting patterns. It is this segment of the population that Harper counts on heavily for his continuing re-election. That is why his primary two talking points are the economy and security. Keep the messages simple — a change in government will most certainly lead to economic upheaval and bad people coming after us. They are messages of fear.
Many of the elderly have experienced the Great Depression and the Second World War, so they know from experience how awful things can become, and this message plays well to them.
Meanwhile, one of the most important issues on the planet, how human endeavors are leading to irreparable damage to our environment, scarcely gets paid lip service. And when it does get mentioned, all we get are platitudes. I quote our local Conservative candidate Mel Arnold, “The agreement (Kyoto Accord) may have been over ambitious in light that Canada produces only two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s very difficult to reduce emissions when they’re already at a low level.”
Perhaps Mr. Arnold should do some math. Canada comprises less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s population, which means that per capita, we are producing more than four times the global average of greenhouse gas emissions. But I take it from Mr. Arnold that there is very little room for improvement in this area. Really? Now that is a stance that makes me fearful. Dear folks, we have met the true enemy and he is us.
But I continue to have hope that more of the elderly will become enlightened, and that more young people will vote, and so I continue to cast a ballot. I may be crazy but I can still dream of a better road.