The Harper Conservatives have acclaimed David Wilks as their candidate for our gerrymandered federal constituency of Kootenay Columbia.
With change in our elector boundaries, we are now in a riding that has sent a Reformer/Alliance/Conservative representative consecutively to Ottawa for over the last two decades. The Harper Conservatives are hoping that once again the Liberals, NDP and Greens will split the left of center vote, which will allow them to walk up the middle for another four years of Conservative government.
Can our country tolerate another four years of Conservative government? When we consider their leadership on the environment, addressing social issues faced by lower and middle income Canadians, track record on supporting corporations and big business, blatant disregard for democratic principles, mismanagement of our economy and natural resources (as in tar sands) eviscerating the CBC, as well as doing irreparable damage to our international reputation, I shudder to think what four more years of Conservative rule will do to our country and way of life.
Obviously we need a change back to the progressive governments we elected from the 1960s into this millennium where social programs were created to address the needs of most Canadians, not just the wealthy. However, this will take a mammoth effort on the part of all citizens, especially each of us in Kootenay Columbia.
The Harper government gained a majority in 2011 when only 60 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots and gave the Conservatives 38 per cent of the popular vote. Less than one in three eligible Canadians voted for the Harper government in 2011 with our first-past-the-post electoral system. Are we going to learn from that or allow it to happen again?
With an election just a matter of months away, it’s time for all of us who want change to work together. Liberals, NDP and Greens cannot afford to continue to split our votes allowing the Conservatives to represent Kootenay Columbia once again because we aren’t united in our opposition of their style of government.
We need the progressive parties to cooperate and stop snipping at one another. Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, and Elizabeth May need to collaborate for the sake of our country and democracy. Here in Kootenay Columbia, we need to join forces to identify one progressive candidate who will represent our interests and get that person elected so we are well represented in Ottawa. We cannot afford to be complacent. Our country’s future is at stake. Our children and grandchildren’s Canada is at stake.
Gerry Sobie, Nelson