Throwing the Baby Out with the Proverbial Bathwater
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
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
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
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
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 !