Once upon a time, back, way back in the early 80’s I attended a liberal leadership convention. What I saw and experienced colored my views of some of the people carrying the banner for parties at that level of government.
I began excited to be a part of history. After sitting in a meeting listening to backroom talk that was dividing up the potential spoils, if they won. I left. Gone was my naivety. I did not stay for the final vote and never attended another convention like that again.
I do believe that this occurs in all parties too. It is inherent in playing the game of politics. No system is without these problems. And even with this experience lodged firmly in my mind’s eye, I can see that our system is much better than most. To thank our lucky stars all we need do is check out the mess south of the border.
However I digress.
Now I had never been a ‘provincial’ liberal and unfortunately there is, in my humble opinion a distinct difference. Oh don’t get me wrong. There are the shining lights – people who wear their integrity and altruistic desire to be the best politician possible firmly attached to their jackets. Jim Bradley comes immediately to mind. Everything politicians like him have done in their tenure as representatives of their constituents proves this. But many do not.
In my limited experience I have found many of these types of people in the political world at all levels, municipal, regional, even school boards. Somehow they seem to have forgotten that being elected to ‘represent’ us means something to some of us long after the election is over.
We expect these people to do their jobs and to advocate for our diverse interests. And they are many. Many people welcome investment that will foster a healthy economy. However many do not believe that selling off necessary services like hydro and water, or heaven forbid, sewage treatment facilities to private, profit making, bottom line conglomerates, will bode well for the future of our people and province.
The same goes for our natural lands heritage. Some people rightly are questioning “Why are we STILL protesting these issues after laws and safety protectorates were put in place years ago!”
Did we not actually win those battles – once upon a time??
Well of course the answer is “Yes we did.” However those who lost the battles are still around and now ready for round 2. This time though they just figured they’d by-pass the pesky and worrisome tree huggers, environmentalists and now their grandchildren as well, and just go to China, eat some Chinese food and sell our birthright as a tip….
And they really thought no one would notice – or care?
I remain a card carrying federal liberal for a number of reasons. The most important reason to me is that Justin Trudeau and his federal party have and continue to listen to ‘the people’…And THAT is what true representative democracy is supposed to be, isn’t it?
I will never again commit to the provincial party and suggest that our provincial leaders and regional counterparts need to take a refresher course in what representative government is supposed to be before they literally and figuratively give away the baby and the bath water !