Editorial – A reason to vote

Chris Clegg

The Sept. 20 federal election is already being called “the election nobody wants”.

Except, of course, for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party.

And who can blame him? Many people cannot name the Peace River – Westlock MP [Arnold Viersen, in case you didn’t know] let alone the Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole.

Trudeau is smart enough to know you attack when the opposition is at its weakest. Right now, the Conservatives are weak. The NDP and the Greens? Mere puppets to join the Liberals to form a minority government when needed.

It has long been said that Canada is a nation that is ungovernable. Canada is a proud nation but in fact a nation of strong regional interests, each competing against one other. It makes it difficult for any central government to appease everyone.

In the West, we get shafted. Always have. Always will. For hundreds of years, the East monopolized the West, robbing it of its riches in fur. Then it was agricultural and mineral resources. The East has forever viewed the West as a colony, a region to exploit, to dominate politically and economically.

To enact change a vision must be sold to the entire country. No political party has united the country. The only unity we can find in Canada is for our military service or when our sports teams or athletes compete against other nations. Only then do Canadians rise as one. Otherwise, it’s a seemingly endless petty squabble between regions with a central government in power who will cater to the population bases in Ontario and Quebec. It is where the votes and job security can be found.

To fight this selfish thinking, political parties have risen from the ground to promote regional interests. By far, the most successful is the Bloc Quebecois who have had a definite impact on federal policy. The Reform party made some headway but was largely ignored by the central government. Other Conservative-based parties promote separation. They believe that the Bloc approach worked in Quebec, why not here. So far, a dismal failure.

There is little doubt the West wants change. Much as even the most ardent western separatist has to realize, the combative approach of the West has gained it very little, not unlike the mosquito buzzing around the campfire on a hot summer night.

The West is crying for change. Change is not impossible but for it to happen two things have to happen. Someone has to come up with a vision for a fair deal for the West within Confederation and sell it to the voters. The Bloc did it in Quebec but it has not happened in the West.

The second is people must vote. No matter how discouraged one may be at the federal political landscape – and there are many reasons for Western voters to be discouraged – the beginning must occur by casting your ballot.

It may seem like a waste of time to vote when the outcome is clear, but vote we must. Change may not happen this time but one cannot give up.

Around the world, many people wish they had this right and the right to use it freely. We are lucky to have these rights.

Change begins with a vote. On Sept. 20, use it!

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