Editorial: Campaign caveat

The race for the next provincial election is on...

After the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, led a B.C. Liberal Party charge from Revelstoke to Invermere last week showcasing the nomination of Invermere College of the Rockies campus manager Doug Clovechok as her party’s official candidate for the coveted Columbia River-Revelstoke riding, the race for the next provincial election is on.

Set for May 14, 2013, the election is still seven months away, but the gloves are out and the fist-swinging has already begun.

How refreshing would it be if the political debate between candidates could remain free of personal digs and character assassination for once?

Long gone are the days when campaigns consisted solely of politicians earnestly appealing to the public on a range of issues with promises of what they could deliver. In fact, I’m not even sure those days existed.

With the Liberals currently trailing behind the NDP in recent polls, many are expecting to see some major upheaval the next time voters are presented with a ballot. With this kind of pressure, things are bound to get nasty, but only if we let them.

I think it’s up to constituents to let their party representatives know what is acceptable and what isn’t.  Without the jeers and hits below the belt, a real debate can actually take place, one that argues the merits of opposing political platforms and avoids the usual mudslinging and insults that have become the standard drill each time an election is called.

It’s by focusing on their own party line that politicans will earn the respect of not only their own supporters, but of those who are open minded enough to consider both sides of the coin.

How unfortunate that politics have become a win-lose conflict instead of a dynamic forum of ideas that welcomes everyone’s contribution. Even when the “majority” wins, this is not to say the “losing” side no longer has anything to offer.

I was reminded at the recent Women’s Town Hall that Premier Christy Clark had annoucnced a new 10-point anti-bullying strategy to help fight bullying across the province. The next step is to be role models for our youth and express ourselves intelligently without belittling each other.