GUEST VIEW: Election should be about ideas not heroes

Darcy Repen believes there is a deficit of ideas in politics that leaves voters perennially let down

“We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas”

These words from linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky address the issue raised in last week’s editorial on political ethics (“Same old, same old,” Interior News, Aug 21, 2019).

Our population’s focus on political ethics and the perceived ‘goodness’ of our political representatives has shifted the dynamics of our political system so drastically that ‘good ideas’ are an afterthought. Our election campaigns should be about realistic policy solutions to our society’s substantial problems. Instead, they’re an endless barrage of virtue signaling, alarmism, and dog-whistle politics.

A social media post by one of our candidates, consisting of a single word, ‘Yes!’ accompanied by a photo of a sign in the woods reading ‘Yes to salmon’, illustrates my point. Taken alone, it’s a no-brainer. We all want to say, ‘Yes to salmon!’ Is there anyone who would say, ‘Nah, we don’t really care about salmon.’?

The big question is: What does this Facebook post mean? They’ve been asked repeatedly by another candidate to clarify their position on industrial development in our region, and their response has been either absent or non-committal politician-speak.

As an electorate, we should be asking questions like: If we are saying yes to salmon, does that mean we are must say ‘no’ to something else? How will we say yes to salmon and what will it take? Have we done the scientific and economic research and studies to develop a sound plan?

Unfortunately, we accept these empty statements without question, go and vote for our ‘team’, and then are inevitably let down by the ‘ethical failures’ of our politicians when they don’t do what we wanted them to do, or what we thought they would do.

We have a party and candidate virtue signaling without answers. We have a party and candidate claiming the sky is falling without a proposal of how to hold it up. We have a candidate touring our region’s gun clubs inviting folks to ‘have a shot with our Calgary MP’. We have a candidate who lost to the previously mentioned candidate just like their party leader lost to the previously mentioned candidate’s party leader. (Sore Losers Party of Canada?) We have a party and candidate whose political ultimatum is making abortion illegal.

What we don’t have is a candidate who has shown a commitment to drafting sound public policy that solves our problems.

Until we stop focusing on our search for heroes instead of answers, our politicians will continue to try and convince us that they are the hero we are looking for.

Should we really be surprised when they let us down?

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert doctor amends social media statement on COVID-19

College of Physicians said information must not be disclosed

Volunteer closures devastating to bottom line

P.R. fishing charters banding together to deter out of province tourists amidst COVID-19

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Digital Daffodils

April is Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer awareness month

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read