Two recent editorials by editor John Harding, one recommending the unification of the parties of the right, the other citing the decline of volunteerism, are encouraging.
They invite readers to contemplate larger societal issues rather than focus on “gotcha” media items.
Let me discuss those two articles in reverse order from a political viewpoint.
Recent decades have witnessed the public’s indifference to the relationship between the citizen and government.
The ideas of “let the government to do it” or “let others pay for it through the taxation system” signal that indifference.
That is, however, a formula for the erosion of public spirit and the individual’s independence. When the public possesses a strong independent spirit, volunteerism will never disappear.
Political parties all go through the natural cycle of birth, growth, decline and death or near-death. Such is the case, in my opinion of the BC provincial Liberal party (preceded earlier by their federal counterpart and equaled now by their Ontario counterpart). That party has seen a decline in truly active members resulting in a decline of constituency organizations which, like similar organizations, depend on volunteers.
Politics is a hard and slogging business at the constituency level and when the constituencies fail, or decline, the power from the bottom shifts automatically to the top of the party pyramid. Such was the case with the Campbell government and I do not see much difference with the Clark one.
So a number of people including myself, seeing a hollowed out and lost Liberal party, influenced by narrow interests, decided to establish a BC Conservative party aimed at resurrecting the individual’s sensible independence from government. Egos and an unwillingness to play by party rules created some bumps on the road for us. Dealt with, we can now move forward with our ideas and viewpoints which we will be delighted to debate at every opportunity.
But remember the larger picture painted by the editorials. Citizens must get involved and must participate. Otherwise the future is bleak.