Election in BC May 2009

Well, we had the BC election this week and what a disappointment it was. Less than 50% of BC's eligible voters actually got out and voted. Once again, Gordon Campbell's liberal government was voted in (note that BC liberal equals everyone else's idea of conservative). I have been seriously disappointed all week. The liberal's got in with a 46% vote. and the NDP had approximately 42%. There are two ridings facing a recount as the vote was so close (South Delta by only 2 VOTES--so when you think your vote does not count, think again!!!!). The only solice I could find out of this was the fact that there are now 23 female members to the legislation and if on recount, Huntington is elected there will be 24. As pointed out by my fellow feminist friends, female does not equal feminist nor is a female member to be equated with a woman who has social justice in mind. but i believe, perhaps naively that the more representatives there are from a particular group, the more likely that a variety of voices from that group will come forward and balance out inbalances--it will take time.

The BC-STV failed. again, what a disappointment. the system we have does not work! it does not represent the diversity of the population and remarkably, as we can see from the votes, a majority government by no means equals a majority of the population's vote. the present government has a "majority" based on a vote from less than a quarter of the population. This is the second referendum on the STV that has failed and sadly, this might be the end of this option.
so upon surveying the final results of the election, I have serious thoughts of moving far far away from this political climate. I am tired of pushing against a government that demonstrates such arrogance and class discrimination. a government that appears to hate women and minority or disadvantaged groups through policies that have resulted in deaths (more than 30 estimated suicides by person's with mental health disorders that were cut off disability with no notice and a long, complicated form to reapply for benefits in 2002-3. Many more individuals who faced cut offs or a lowering in their welfare rates have become homeless, lost custody of children, or returned to abusive situations to avoid homelessness and poverty.

Needless to say I am distressed by the outcome of this election, by the thought of the next four years, and by the low voter turnout rate. Women in particular have worked so hard in the past century to win the right to vote. There are so many people that even 40 years ago could not vote. I cannot believe that after all the effort to win the right, people would just shrug off this civic obligation and leave aside the ability to effect change in their community. In places all over the world people fight to vote, people are killed over the struggle to have a say in the direction and future of their country. And here in Canada, in BC, where there is an incredible amount of freedom and opportunity, eligible voters sat at home on May 12th and let someone else make their decision.

Wake up people! what is it going to take to get the general population to awaken from their apathy and take charge of their community? People are dying. People are losing everything they have. And now it seems, people have given up. So now here we go, another 4 years of the same old, same old peppered with arrogance of a Premier who has just "won" his 3rd term and believes that 46% of 48% equals a "clear mandate" from the BC voters. We have just elected a Premier who does not believe in Legislative assembly unless it is to bully through policy that he has personally approved. There is little opportunity to challenge the Liberal policies, there is no opportunity for the opposition to hold him accountable and now we have 4 more years.

Here's to 2013! we better start organizing for change!