It’s not often I open up the blog to guest posts. But when I do it’s because 1) I have asked them,they didn’t come to me… and 2) I think it’s something readers need to see, hear or consider.
Long time readers well know that I have always had a dream of more independents in the legislature. To be sure, it wouldn’t take more than a handful of solid, strong, truly independent souls to change the outcome of the votes. So when a few weeks ago I saw this group on twitter I contacted them to find out more. Turns out some of them had read one of my blog posts a while back lamenting the problems of people like me caught in the middle who would rather see more good done than finger pointing. People tired of party politics.
Many people talk in BC about change. Few actually do anything about it. So I offered them the chance to do a guest blog post and here it is. And I look forward to your comments, as I am sure they do as well.
Let’s reimagine politics in BC
The BC provincial election this May is quickly approaching. Campaigns are already starting with the same old rhetoric we have heard before. The BC Liberals say that they are “…getting to YES on job creation and growth” while introducing populist policies that hurt the economy and our well-being. The BC NDP seem to have trouble producing coherent policies between their labour and environmental factions and even more trouble running a scandal-free campaign.
The BC Greens are labelled as a one-issue party and will remain perceived as so by undiscerning voters. BC politics has been reduced to a chess game of politics driven by the election cycle fueled by big money. Instead of creating comprehensive visions for BC, political parties resort to announcing firehose policies designed to influence a demographic to capture votes. As New York Times reported, BC politics is the “Wild West” of Canadian politics.
We can do better than this. Politics in BC needs a reset.
As Imagine X, we want to reimagine politics in BC and bring it back to its original intent: elect MLAs that represent you and your community. We are a group of self-motivated and self-funded regular citizens who are frustrated with the current state of politics, but also inspired by the possibilities for political change. We are inspired by exemplary political leaders, such as the two-time independent MLA Vicki Huntington of Delta South, who did not vote-split, but instead defeated the BC Liberal MLA and Attorney General Wally Oppal to initially earn the seat in her riding.
Vicki showed us that it is possible for a politician to be, in her own words, “a true representative of the people, a representative that speaks on behalf of the people.” Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Vicki is retiring this year and will not be seeking re-election. As British Columbians, we need to strive to keep her spirit for true representative democracy alive and well in the BC legislature.
Through Imagine X, we want to change the political narrative in BC by exposing what is broken, inspiring public dialogue, and taking pragmatic action for change in the upcoming provincial election.
What have we done so far?
Late last year, we released the first ever BC MLA Voting Records App to demonstrate how MLAs put party-interests before constituents’ interests.
This month, we asked British Columbians to nominate leaders who would make great independent candidates for the upcoming election through our nomination platform. We want to encourage people to consider running as an independent and voting for an independent.
Going forward, we intend to raise awareness about high potential independent candidates whom we believe would best represent their constituents and uphold principles that are aligned with our core values.
We want to ensure that those independent candidates with integrity and potential like Vicki Huntington have a fair chance of winning a seat in the legislature and an opportunity to earn your vote to represent British Columbians. If enough independent candidates are elected, they could potentially hold the balance of power between the two major parties, leading to a healthier democracy for BC.
We are blessed to live in a peaceful democratic nation where we don’t need to go to war to create political change. Let’s take advantage of this privilege and get independents elected into the BC legislature this May.
The only way BC politics can move forward is if we all believe that we are not stuck with the current options. As Premier W.A.C. Bennett once said “…the time has now arrived in British Columbia when members must be elected to represent constituencies and not to be party rubber stamps and jump through the hoop at the crack of the party whip in Victoria.”
Let’s do it BC. Give it try. Let’s find our next generation of political leaders and give them a chance to earn our votes. Together, we can create change for a better future for our province. Start by checking out what we are doing at www.imagine-x.ca.
Imagine X is a group of passionate citizens starting a political movement to reimagine politics and reimagine BC. We are not affiliated with the BC Liberals, NDPs, Greens, any other existing party or interest group.