It has become the worst kept secret in Canada that we are most likely headed for a federal election in late September.
The thinly veiled ploy to seize majority control of Parliament will, of course, be given its necessary, well-engineered justifications that only the most naive will actually believe.
We don’t need it. We don’t want it. We’re getting it anyways.
What we really need is for our government to keep doing their jobs with the mandate we gave them two years ago. A forced early election call would reset many important initiatives that have endured the collaborative process that only a minority government can guarantee. It does not serve us, but serves only those in power - who, lest we forget, pledged to serve us.
I won’t take aim at any of the parties. They’ll be doing that to one another soon enough, and we’ll be left to sort the truth from rhetoric.
Regardless, we the people will still be expected to exercise our important franchise. But how?
Maybe just this time, look for a sincere, trustworthy candidate who best represents your long term best interests. Even if they aren’t in your riding. Unicorn jokes aside, they do exist and with a little effort you can find them in less time than you’ll spend in a Costco lineup. Demand integrity, not perfection. You'll recognize them - they're the ones who have demonstrated the courage to rock the boat for what they believe in. Who will insist that their party serves them and their constituents - not the other way around. Who are in it for a higher purpose, not their own self-interest. Who aren’t afraid to own their mistakes.
Then find some way to support their campaign. Volunteer, donate or even just put up a lawn sign. The best candidates often face the toughest uphill battles. They need all the support they can get, so lift them up with everything you have - even if they don’t win this time around. The best of them will stick around, but only if they feel well supported.
Most importantly, be a “high information voter.” Democracy is not a spectator sport. Like anything worthwhile, it is fragile and requires constant attention. It is our responsibility to be informed and then to vote with our conscience.
Only then can we begin to have governments who deserve us.
Erik Minty, Port Coquitlam