I want to share a story from long ago with you—a story that may well encapsulate the current provincial election campaign. Names are—of course—fictions to protect privacy.
A long time ago—a very long time ago, I and partner, Scott, ran a small renovation company (N&S Renovations) in Rossland, BC—not coincidentally the home of one of the finest ski hills in North America. In that remote time Rossland houses in need of repair were so inexpensive–$14,000 for a 1500 sq. ft. home–anyone running any kind of renovation business didn’t dare to put out a shingle for fear of not being able to get past the lineups of homeowners who would come to beg you to show up at their place next. Once Scott and I would begin a reno we would be besieged by neighbours wanting to know when we could start on their homes.
And so it was that having completed a pre-ski season month of glass, insulation and addition renovations at the Kennedy’s– a most delightful young family of five–Scott and I moved our tools directly across the street to the Ritter’s home to begin rebuilding just about everything except the kitchen sink—well, actually, we replaced the sink as well!
One day at the Ritter’s–a day dedicated to getting lots done because there had been no powder at Red Mountain for at least a week, a day when we were hoping Dr and Mrs Ritter would finally agree on what they wanted the new bathroom to look like, a day when five-year-old Jenny Kennedy from our just completed job across the street came to visit five-year-old Jack Ritter, a day when Scott and I were finishing the new den next to the just finished new living room where Jack and Jenny were—it seemed—happily playing with a barrel of toys—an pervading, ominous, palpable silence seemed to settle over the whole of the house; not even a peep from the otherwise rambunctious five-year-olds in the living room.
Suddenly Jenny’s shouted voice sundered the silence like a storm swollen wave breaking over an outlying reef. “It’s not right, JACK!” “It’s not right!” she shouted even more forcefully. “Mrs. Ritter, Jack is pulling down my pants!” Well, Susan Ritter soon had the situation under control and Jack definitely learned that “It’s not right!” to pull on the pants of the neighbor girl. Certainly not without a clear consensus and a lot more candles on the cake.
I had almost forgotten this story from so long ago. I had forgotten it until shortly after this election was called and I was listening to all that is being said about the Clark government and its record of taxpayer funded ads for the Liberal Party and its proclivity to reward Liberal Party funders with lush government contracts. Suddenly I remembered, as though yesterday, Jenny’s outraged and indignant voice, “It’s not right!!!” Oh, my gosh, is that not what this election is about—our chance to tell the Christy Clark Liberals,” IT’S NOT RIGHT!” It, most definitely, is not right! And we should be as insulted and outraged and definite and outraged as five-year-old Jenny Kennedy—it’s not right! It’s not right now and of itself and it would not be right to let the Clark Liberals get away with this indifference to what IS RIGHT. If this kind of abject corruption of what public office is supposed to be about is allowed to go on, will there be any limit on the hog-in-the-trough attitude of our rotten-to-the-core Liberal government?
We sent Harper and his government for the one percent only packing. You and I did. Together we told the Conservatives “It’s not Right. We won’t take it any more!” We sent Harper packing and we can do the same to the BC Liberals.
How? Well, apparently the skids on the out bound Conservative tracks were greased with some strategic voting in the federal election. Apparently a number of voters chose candidates they viewed as most likely to beat the Conservative candidate–regardless of who they otherwise preferred . But I have a slightly different take on how we tossed the crony capitalists out.
When I showed up at the Royston federal election poll in October 2015 to scrutineer the vote counting, there were, late in the afternoon, still lineups of citizens out the door and down the block! Wow! However, once inside, there were few electors actually at the polling booths. ALL THOSE PEOPLE LINED UP DOWN THE STREET WERE NEW VOTERS COMING TO VOTE FOR THE FIRST TIME—COMING TO SAY, “It’s not right, Stephen Harper! No more plundering our nation for the benefit of a few corporate interests.”
And we can do it again. Tell everyone you meet—tell them with the conviction and outrage and determination of five-year-old Jenny Kennedy, “It’s not right!” Tell them that—together—we tossed out Stephen Harper and together we can toss out Christy Clark. Remember the Stop Harper stickers/posters/signs? I had a sign on my car proclaiming, “Stop Harper; Save Canada!” Couldn’t we have a similar effect with signs saying “It’s not right!” “End the Corruption!” Send the Liberals packing”?
Together we tossed the Conservatives out of Ottawa. Together we can toss the Liberals out of BC.
All we have to do is muster the conviction and outrage of five-year-old Jenny Kennedy and shout out with indignant outrage, “It’s not right!!” And show up at your favorite campaign office to make your voice effective.