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Did You Vote Today?

So it’s municipal election day in British Columbia, the day we get to vote for mayors, city councillors, and school board trustees. And given that I know jack squat about Surrey politics, I decided I should read the candidate statements before I headed off to the polls.  First of all, there about about eleventy billion people running for council, so it took me ages to get through the statements. Secondly, it’s pretty challenging to figure out what everyone is really about from these short statements, especially when so many people, just spew off platitudes. Of course everyone wants to make the city a safer place with good schools, nice parks, better roads, better transit, businesses that succeed, and unicorns covered in pixie dust. But how, exactly, they are going to do that is never mentioned. Is it so much to ask to see some concrete ideas?

What’s particularly galling are the candidates who are making claims they will provide all sorts of things – new stadiums, new schools, new hospitals, more Skytrain, better pay for municipal employees, more teachers in schools, etc., etc. AND no increases in taxes. I mean, seriously, do these individuals have no idea how a government works? Governments get money from taxes. Buying things costs money. It’s not rocket science, people.

And finally, what’s the deal with political parties calling themselves “non-partisan”? Our good friend Wikipedia tells us:

In politics, partisan literally means organized into political parties. The expression “partisan politics” usually refers to fervent, sometimes militant, support of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.

Presumably these so-called non-partisan parties are trying to distance themselves from the of “fervent, sometimes militant,” connotation of the word, but technically they are saying that they are a political party that is not a political party. Am I the one one who finds this ridiculous?

3 Responses to Did You Vote Today?

  1. Mel says:

    Thank you for taking the thoughts right out of my head and putting them on your blog! I tried to do my homework last night so that I could go vote first thing this morning, and I still felt like filling out my ballot was a little bit like guesswork. I don’t understand why everyone seems so against wards here, so that I only have to try and learn about ~6 people instead of ~30. And that’s not even counting parksboard and school-whatever-it-is candidates! And since you asked, yes, I do find the NPA’s name completely ridiculous.

  2. Kalev says:

    The NPA, ridiculous? I am shocked and offended you would imply such heiniosity! 😛

    People are against wards in the Lower Mainland because the powers-that-be, who benefit hugely from the lack of wards, have gone above and beyond to convince people that wards would be a terrible idea. And every 15 or 20 years when they do have a referendum on moving to a ward system, on top of cranking the fear of something different machine into high gear, they also set the bar for the success of these referenda so high that they’re nearly guaranteed to fail (see: BC-STV failed referenda). My very favouritest part of that particular tactic is how NO ONE thinks to question why the bar must be set so high–it’s not legislated anywhere that you need more than a simple majority to change the electoral system. In fact, it’s not legislated anywhere that you even need to hold a referendum at all to change the electoral system.

  3. Beth says:

    Diane Watts’ “Surrey First” party also refers to themselves as “non-partisan.”

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