In response to the letter by Glen Allison Valemount, BC published in the Goat newspaper on September 16, 2021.
I felt strongly on several issues during the 2015 federal election, and I voted intentionally for a candidate supporting those policies. After the election, the governing party abandoned the election promises I voted for and did the opposite. I didn’t bother voting in the 2019 election. In this most recent election I again voted to support the issues I believe in—I hope it proves worth my effort.
A fundamental principle of democracy is the election of government leaders by the people. During the election process the various candidates put forward their policies and positions on relevant issues, and the electorate votes for the positions and policies that they desire to prevail in government. It should go without saying that for the system to work the various candidates and political parties must be open and honest about the policy they intend to implement and about their positions on relevant issues. If a candidate or political party disseminates deceptive or dishonest information during the election campaign, or changes their position after the election, this fundamental principle of democracy fails—the people voted for one thing but got something else. It makes a farce of the election process. I am firmly of the opinion that political leaders who betray the electorate in this manner are unfit to hold public office.
Case in point, during the 2015 federal election Justin Trudeau declared “The 2015 election will be the last federal election using first-past-the-post.” After the election, that promise was soon abandoned and we have now held two more elections under the outdated first-past-the-post system. So why vote? Which collection of lies and soon-to-be-broken promises should I vote for? Shouldn’t there be a connection between what we vote for and what we get? It is not without cause that our nation suffers from voter apathy. I believe all voters should educate themselves on the relevant issues, thoughtfully consider the positions of the various candidates and political parties on those issues, and vote accordingly. Those who are elected then have an ethical obligation to seek to implement those policy directions chosen by the electorate. That’s how the system is supposed to work. But when our political leaders sever the connection between campaign promises and actual policy once in office, who can blame the voters for giving up and refusing to participate in this political charade?