Whenever an Election (at any Governmental level) rolls around, I always think of my Dad.
He was a life-long radio producer (BBC Radio, United Church Broadcasting, CKWX & CBC) who LOVED the politics of the day.
I’m not sure what he would think of today’s brand of politics, but that isn’t what this post is about.
He covered the BC Legislature for many years, and got to know and respect many of the MLAs.
One of the things he respected most, was how members of different parties could go hammer and tongs at one another in the “House”, and go to a bar after session, and continue the discussion, to try to work to a reasonable and acceptable compromise, that moved the issue at hand, forward. Now, it didn’t always work that way, but generally, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Today, the process seems to be just as much about scoring points against your opponent, as getting the work done.
I wonder how much of that is because there is an “us or them” mentality that seems to have been adopted from US politics.
When I was young, there were Conservative, Liberal, Social Credit and NDP MLAs.
Today, Provincially, we have (apart from a few Independent MLAs) a two party system.
I don’t know that it wouldn’t be a good idea to have different people, with different ideas, join in the discussion.
It certainly can’t make things in Victoria any LESS functional.
And yes, under the current system, which doesn’t allow for representational voting, that may cause some vote splitting.
So what ? *
I have always believed that I should vote for the individual who will best represent me, at whatever Governmental level they are campaigning for.
As I’m working with Elections BC, I’ve already cast my vote for the individual that I feel is best suited to work for my needs. In this case, they are from one of the two major parties.
If I lived in Maple Ridge-Mission or Mission-Abbotsford, I would be voting for individuals from OUTSIDE the two major parties.
When discussing issues, people don’t generally see things in black and white… there are a LOT of different colours in between. (Including us Grays)
I think it will be interesting to see the results of the election. Hopefully we will get a Legislature that is made up of many voices… from different parties… and having different ideas.
In that case, the different groups would have to work together, to find common ground, if there is to be progress.
And be a little bit more like the Legislature my Dad worked at… where opponents were still adversaries, but had a common goal, to get things done, as well as they could be done.
My fingers are crossed !!!
Please remember to get out and vote on Election Day !!!
* So what…
I know some folks may say that I’m “ignoring the big picture” when I brush aside any discussion of vote splitting and concerns about votes “not counting”, if you don’t vote for one of the two major parties.
1) Anyone who votes isn’t throwing away your vote.
2) I believe I am looking at a longer time frame than most, because, in this way, people will increasingly see that the “first past the post” system, works to support a two party system, rather than reflecting the diversity of voices of the general public. Hopefully we will reach the tipping point on this issue, soon. (You can read more on the first past the post voting system, on Wikipedia , here)
3) The sooner that people realize that the current voting system doesn’t reflect the will of the people, and only serves to maintain an “us or them” system, the faster the discussion can begin about what system would better reflect the diversity of opinions that our Province and Nation actually has. (In this area, I am not claiming to know enough to speak to which system would be best, or the details of how it SHOULD work. I voted YES to the Single Transferable Vote referendum, a few years back, but not enough people understood how the system worked, so it was defeated, but I hope that the discussion will continue. (You can read more on the Single Transferable Vote system, on Wikipedia , here)
Through discussing what voting system would work better, and looking at other examples of Voting reform that have been implemented around the world, our Governments can only get more responsive and more accountable, as they are elected to reflect the many diverse voices and viewpoints that the public have.