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Campaigning for those who like me

There has been plenty discussion over Liberal leader Christy Clark’s brush off of Linda this week.

In case you missed it, Linda told Clark she wasn’t going to vote for her and before she could explain why, Clark said something along the lines of that’s why we live in a democracy and pushed on, likely to find some smiley, happy people.

The best part, or perhaps most disturbing, part of the video was the look Liberal candidate Naomi Yamamoto gave, described by one columnist as giving Linda the “stink eye.”

Clark said in retrospect she should have talked to the woman. Ya think?

Clark’s brush off, however, is endemic of where politics has gone over the past few years … out of the realm of serving everyone and into the realm of serving only those who support you.

Politicians seem to have little time for those who don’t get on the rah-rah train.

Clark isn’t the first politician to do this, and she won’t be the last.

Plus, we see it at the local level with the ongoing debate over who will show up for which all candidates forums.

Last week it started with the both local New Democrats Bobby Deepak and Natalie Fletcher skipping the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association forum. The usual “scheduling conflict” was blamed, and I can certainly appreciate that everyone wants a piece of the candidates during the election campaign. And, there is no doubt the ICBA crowd was a pro-Liberal crowd. The ICBA actively campaigns for the Liberals.

But this forum was at 7:30 in the morning … not much else going on at the time.

Then, later in the week, it was the Liberals’ turn. Both Shirley Bond and Mike Morris skipped the AiMHi forum on social issues. It’s not that this forum was a pro-NDP forum, but the Liberals have a dismal record on social issues and likely would have been hard-pressed to explain to the folks who deliver social services why the provincial government’s poverty reduction plan is “get a job” and why agencies like AiMHi and the Child Development Centre struggle for funding.

To top it off, Fred McLeod of AiMHi said the Liberals were given four dates to choose from for the forum. The dreaded scheduling conflicts.

I could see one or two candidates having conflicts with one or two dates, but both for all four. Just a little incredulous.

Let’s call it what it is … bull crap.

I’m reminded of way back in the 1990s. Yes the same 1990s that the Liberals are fixated on. David Zirnhelt was the NDP MLA for Cariboo South and he was also the forest minister. Local logging contractors got together and started a Unite the Right group, with the goal of kicking out the NDP.

They held a rally in the Gibraltar Room in Williams Lake. The 400-seat facility was filled to the rafters with people mad as hell at the NDP.

Guess who had a seat in the front row? Zirnhelt.

He was still their MLA. Even though he knew he was going to take a beating, he showed up because his job is to listen to all his constituents, not just the ones who pat him on the back and tell him he’s great. Not everything about the 1990s was bad.

In my mind, once you become an MLA, you represent everyone in your riding … whether they voted for you or not. And if you’re still undecided, you might look for the candidates who campaign outside their comfort zone.

Election 2017

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