Saturday, May 07, 2005

Gordon Campbell and British Columbia's Election - Christine's 2005 Political Rant

Christine’s Political Sound Off

I grew up in a household where voting alliances were clear - my father was a staunch NDPer and my mother was a Trudeau Liberalist. I also recall how each time they went to vote, my father grumbled how she was merely canceling his vote. This parental interaction taught me two things - it was important to vote, you could not be bullied into voting, and voting was a democratic privilege. No matter what other people thought, one was to vote for the party they thought could lead the best. That was then, this is now (to steal a S.E. Hinton title).

I was a underaged, closet Trudeau lover. I found him irresistibly arrogant and laughed when he swore, and laughed harder (despite my annoyance) when he gave us Westerners the finger. He served Canada both well and poorly, depending upon the topic, but he was undeniably charismatic.

Fast forward to the 90’s. My voting was all over the map, depending upon what my local candidate had to say, and the conviction with which he/she said it. I always had topics close to my heart and if the candidate managed to address a particular topic (along my line of thinking, of course) then he/she got my vote.

The Liberals were nonexistent in our Province for years, until an unknown named Gordon Wilson revitalized the party with a bang. I liked Gordon Wilson immediately - he voiced everything I had concerns with, and was in line with all my views. He actually made me look forward to voting; forget who was in my riding - I wanted this man in power! He managed to bring the Liberals into government as the Opposition Party, previously unfathomable, if it weren’t for him insisting on being a part of the live television debate (in which he was clearly the victor).

Then came Gordon Campbell (cue the ominous soundtrack) a former Social Credit leader wannabe, former Vancouver Mayor (that’s an article in itself) who was suddenly vying for Wilson’s position as leader of the Liberals. Wilson’s extramarital affair became headline news (hmm... who leaked that one?) and Wilson became a scandalous political pariah, and Gordon Campbell smarmed himself into the leadership position. Alongside Campbell was his talking head, official puppet Gary Farrell-Collins, and I felt dually slimed.

Which brings to to my present political rant. Why is it that such an unlikeable, unreliable personality (Campbell) can actually make people believe that he has had an impact on our economy, in any way? Don’t people realize it doesn’t matter which party is in power? Global events, intermarriage with the United States’ economy, and Eastern decisions navigates the wheel behind little ol’ British Columbia’s vehicle - not Gordon Campbell. And why aren’t his personal shenanigans, scandals, etc. forcing him into political oblivion? (There’s certainly enough of them.) Why aren’t people outraged that his Liberal cronies are the ones to phone in to talk shows with softball questions when he’s on air? Campbell managed to take a middle of the road, non-offensive provincial Liberal Party and turn it into the (extremely) Conservative Party ( just misspelled).

Well, I (and my father, now deceased, but smirking nonetheless) have to thank Campbell for helping me solidify my vote. Fluffy the Rabbit could run as an independent and he/she would get my vote - anything - to get this unscrupulous bunch out of power. Fortunately, someone I actually like (Carole James) is running, so the rabbit vote is a moot point. Campbell can head East and hang out with Paul Martin (at our expense, of course) and help further corrupt Canada.

As for Carole James, leader of the NDP Party, I have never wished so hard (with exception to Gordon Wilson) for someone, like her, to win an election. I just hope that British Columbians can ignore Campbell’s ranting about Glen Clark’s NDP’s reign (how desperate is that?... they can’t get ANY dirt on this woman so they resort to the past) and see the real issue - we need Campbell out and some new blood in. Carole James is that “new blood”, determined to soften that former NDP labour-driven image as she outlines new possibilities for our province. And if you can’t stomach voting NDP - then go Green - just stay away from Gordon Campbell and the Socreds, I mean, Liberals.

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