Elections are never really over. They are perpetually the target of politicians and political parties. This is one of the fundamental flaws of our democratic governments. We should spend more time focussing on the process of governing rather than the result of past or future elections.
As I said in a recent post, the top priority of some of the people working in our current system is to chalk up political wins on the scoreboard. To them, it’s even better if your opponents suffer a political loss at the same time. This is the result of a heavy investment in the philosophy of the endless campaign. It supports an entire industry stretching from political strategists and backroom operatives to the mainstream media. The politics of politicians and political parties is a perversion of our democracy.
Checks and balances
We are elected officials. Once we have been successful in winning our seat, it’s our job to govern. All of us. We each have our own roles and responsibilities to maintain the accountability of government, we are the checks and balances. Frankly, we should not be at the whim of 20 or so of the most powerful members of the political party who can secure a majority of votes in the Chamber, no matter how they do it.
The form of governing I would like to see is an entirely different approach than we have traditionally seen in our Legislature. There has been little focus on political parties and their politicians working together. That’s until the minority government formed in the British Columbia Legislature in 2017. The idea of “working together” is antithetical to how majority governments work.
Governing a province requires its rules, regulations, policy and enforcement to be relevant for a multi-dimensional organization with over 30,000 employees and involving a complex array of social, environmental and economic factors. Partisan goal-scoring is irresponsible, if not dangerous. A committed group of elected officials should proactively act in the best interest of the needs of the organization. That’s governing. Politicians, strategists and operatives chasing votes by splashing $1,000,000 of tax payer cash on interest groups. That’s electioneering (their political interests, your money.)
Striving for fewer political casualties
In our modern democratic government, political parties focus on the result of the next election and everything builds to that day. I’m going to focus on the process of governing, nurturing relationships and good ideas, solving problems and lifting people up instead of hitting them when they are down. I believe the result will be winning more often with fewer casualties.