Two young David Merner supporters cry in the aftermath of the election at the Green Party of Canada’s election night party at the Crystal Gardens in Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

EDITORIAL: When the election hangover fades our work begins

The electorate has a responsibility

The election results are in and we can now try to shake the hangover of the non-stop political indignation and accusations that characterized our federal election campaign.

It was an election that Justin Trudeau described as the dirtiest, nastiest campaign ever, rife with disinformation (that’s the political word for lies).

Andrew Sheer railed against the Liberals, warning of higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less money in everyone’s pockets.

The Liberals raised the social cost of a Conservative government, painting it with the brush of racism, intolerance, and greed.

In truth, neither of those parties managed to escape unscathed by accusations of racism, dishonesty and just plain meanness.

In the latter days of the campaign, as polls started fraying the nerves of the party elites, both parties turned their attention to the NDP, alternating between open threats and mealy-mouthed cajoling in anticipation of a minority government.

And the NDP was certainly not blameless. It took to attacking the Green Party with accusations that the Greens would “sell-out” to the Conservatives.

It was more than a little tiresome. Exhausting, really.

And, if that wasn’t fatiguing enough, smoke from the American political dumpster fire continued to blow over the border, threatening to spread the xenophobic lunacy of the U.S.’s executive branch to our own body politic. The overt nationalism of the People’s Party served as the canary in the coal mine in that regard.

But besides being tiresome, the degradation of the standards of behavior in politics presents another, very real danger. It breeds a cynicism that, if embraced, runs the risk of having us believe that all politicians are the same; changing once they take office.

Charles DeGaulle encapsulated that phenomenon when he observed that “In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant”.

But that isn’t always true. It’s frequently not.

That’s where the electorate has a responsibility.

Once the election hangover fades, our work really just begins. It’s our job to pay attention to the candidates who are now in power and watch, not just what they say, but what they do and how they vote.

We need to sort out the public servants from the self-serving politicians.

Any MP who, having extolled his or her concern about an issue then votes to exacerbate that same issue should be called out for that hypocrisy, loudly and often.

Next election, they should be shown the curb.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Victoria Royals draft dynamic Danish forward for tentative fall season

Marcus Almquist drafted to Victoria after international tournaments

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

Most Read