By Mike Archer. In a cynical piece which seems intended to save the status quo rather than contribute anything worthwhile to the upcoming municipal election, old Abbotsford News editor and BC Liberal huckster Mark Rushton this week dismissed the AbbotsfordFIRST Society as a mere slate like all the others and predicted it would have little impact on the upcoming municipal election.
He even predicted, just one week into its official announcement, that the party would fragment and fall apart because members would disagree.
Being a party man himself, Rushton knows all about the kind of party politics which can destroy democracy by sticking together under the leader’s iron grip and stand together mouthing the same inanities to a public which has ceased to listen.
The BC Liberals have mastered the game of saying one thing in unison while meaning or doing another. ‘All for one and to hell with good governance’ seems to be Christy Clark’s mantra for her party.
Rushton may not have studied the municipal act or understand how municipal elections work in BC. Nobody is forced to vote for everybody on a slate. Each voter gets to choose which among the list of candidates they would like to have sit on council. Period.
No coercion. No party politics. No lack of independence. Nothing nefarious going on here.
Just a bunch of well-established members of the community who think it’s time for a change and share a lot of beliefs in the kinds of solutions we need. The candidates will be running as individuals and voters can pick and choose whomever they want at the ballot box.
So far, those who have been announced as candidates seem fully intelligent and informed enough to know that, were they to mindlessly follow some sort of party doctrine the way our provincial politicians of all stripes do, they won’t succeed.
While those who are well-connected to the current slate of aging failures who have been with us for years and their supporters, some of whom hold key positions in the shadow government of the council committee system, like to wax about democracy and good governance (as though they would recognize either if they were slapped in the face with them), voters have proven to be much more savvy than the power structure pundits who keep telling the community all is well.
At a glance the AbbotsfordFIRST candidates have some pretty interesting things to say and have, from what we can tell so far, the kind of background and commitment that should help them enunciate and defend their platform and their beliefs during the campaign.
If they don’t, we won’t elect them. Simple.
For Rushton to take a run at them with his cynicism and dismissive drivel shows a slavish admiration and commitment to a group of people who have not only made an enormous mess of this city but have managed to get repeatedly rewarded for doing so.
Whether through the candidates proposed by the AbbotsfordFIRST Society or the many other new faces who will be announcing their candidacy over the coming weeks, this community is in need of a political enema. As a defender of the aging power structure which has ruined so much in this city, Rushton should be flushed with the rest of the incumbents.