Editor, The Record:
The public, in particular voters, is demanding fundamental improvements to the voting process, but many old-line politicians will remain in denial and rather than accept a new higher standard, will decide to leave.
The oft-used cliché, “to spend time with family” is used, whereas others manufacture excuses to sidestep their likely defeat in the May 2013 provincial election.
Politics is cyclical. A party can suddenly find a leader — such as Gordon Wilson, who revitalized the BC Liberal Party only to be out maneuvered and ousted by Gordon Campbell. Thus, today we witness almost the same scenario but John Cummins is the likely target.
In either event, change is in voters’ minds, and when public trust and confidence is gone, we witness change. Too many MLAs have not represented constituents, and rather towed the party line, but this election, their ill-advised approach has caught up to them and many faces will be gone.
It goes deep into each riding, and many previously secure politicians must see the writing on the wall and the weaker will quickly abandon the ship. Compounding this weakening of the party is the perceived arrogance and self-centered views that, rather than strengthen a coalition needed to win an election, each party will seek to win seats, split the vote and become, by design, opposition.
Hence, the public expect elected politicians, municipal or provincial, to have the conviction to complete their term of elected office and then not run. Leaving early is the irresponsible fashion today. Abandoning their position causes someone to incur costs of a byelection to seek a replacement and sadly epitomizes a misplaced public trust in that elected person.
It also describes the self-entitlement of some politicians, who place their well-being ahead of the electorate, such as, having been elected at one level of government, some soon aspire to a higher level, with accompanying salary and pension. Some will unilaterally decide to seek the new job, but to cover their own butt not resign, and instead run for office. If they win, then they resign, but if they lose, they still have a job, to the chagrin of most voters who have been insulted and betrayed by self-interest.
We can only aspire to elect leaders with ethics and conviction, who will serve their constituents for their elected term of office. Honour may one day be restored to the political process, but it is going to take people willing to serve the people, not themselves.
George F. Evens