By James Breckenridge. YABADABADOO! Hearing that Abbotsford city councillor Moe Gill was going to run as an independent in Abbotsford West was a Yabadabadoo moment for me.
Finally an opportunity to look forward to election day and casting my ballot for something (or someone), instead of needing to hold my nose and vote in a manner I judged would cause the least damage to the province, the economy, and to society.
When people ask who I am voting for I get to tell them straight out “I am voting FOR Moe Gill”, instead of having to say something like “I am voting for a minority government”’ or “I am trying to decide who is the lesser evil”.
Upon hearing I am voting for Moe Gill, many feel it necessary to state that, without being a member of a political party that can form the government, Mr. Gill cannot accomplish anything.
I like to begin my reply by pointing out they were just complaining that MLAs do what the party tells them and ignore the concerns and opinions of the people who elected them.
Moving on to remind them of their complaint about having to decide which party is the least objectionable. I opine that when you are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils, you are being forced to vote for an evil.
I then note the reality that there are many topics that political parties will not talk about and if forced to address, respond with platitudes; the reality that political parties are avoiding even talking about, much less addressing, important issues because the public does not want to hear about these issues – leaving these problems to grow until they reach a size where they ‘self correct’ with painful negative consequences; that political parties, mired in their ideologies, have no real understanding of the economic reality in BC or the financial situation most British Columbians are faced with as evidenced by the current election campaign; and, as evidenced by the current election campaign, none of the political parties has any new ideas about how to steer the ship of state through these turbulent times – without wrecking on one of the issues they pretend (BLEEP! I hope they are pretending) doesn’t exist or whose existence they ignore.
I remind my audience that for several years I have been writing about how we cannot afford the consequences that our current politicians and parties, with their ‘politics as usual’ behaviour, are bringing about and allowing to grow. That in order to avoid the painful consequences that ‘politics as usual’ is building up, we need to dislodge the entrenched political interests and get MLA’s who will tackle the important issues, even if the public does not want to hear about these issues – before the issues and consequences blow up in our faces.
I remind people that, although politicians have evolved a system that forces many Canadians to vote for the lesser of evils instead of for or on issues, we still have the right to vote for anyone we choose to. Calling on people to encourage independents to run for office – and for people to get out, support and vote for any suitable independents. Having written for several years about the need for independent candidates to run for office……when Moe Gill tosses his hat in the ring as an independent, I will be following my own call to action and voting for the independent candidate running in my riding – Mr. Moe Gill.
Independent candidates need issues to address but are not muzzled by a party, permitting them to address issues important to the future of the province and citizens, as well as issues important to their constituents.
Independent candidates can give a voice to those persons and issues the political parties do not wish to hear about or address.
I have watched the deterioration of Mental Health services in our health region, watched as the lack of resources and services have resulted in the death of people and the growing number of citizens who are turned away – until their mental health deteriorates to a point they are dangerous to themselves and the public.
I have watched a system that keeps doing the same thing over and over for those struggling with substance use problems, even though the outcome has an unacceptably abysmal ‘success’ (less than 5%) rate and we know that best practices elsewhere have significantly higher (90%) positive outcomes, in the apparent belief that if you do the same thing over often enough at some point you will get a different outcome.
I have watched things continue to worsen because of the lack of a voice that can effectively raise the issue.
I attended Moe Gill’s press conference and statement about the need to address mental health issues and later heard from people who had heard media reports about Moe Gill calling upon government to address mental health issues and failures.
Yes an Independent does not belong to a party that can form the government.
But Independents can effectively raise issues; raise issues the government and its MLAs want to avoid for political reasons; need to represent their constituents and are not hampered in this be party decisions or interests of the party deemed more important than the interests of citizens; one Independent can change the conversation, the election of several Independents can change the agenda.
We can no longer afford ‘politics as usual’ and the painful negative consequences ‘politics as usual’ leads to.
We need, we must, change. We need to take back our government in order to get good governance.
Which is why I will be voting FOR Moe Gill, encouraging other residents of West Abbotsford to vote for Moe Gill, and encouraging those with independents (OK, non-wacko independents) to support the independent in their riding
Love the sound of that – voting FOR something.
I am voting FOR something, I am casting my vote For our independent candidate in Abbotsford West, voting FOR Moe Gill.