Tuesday, April 9, 2013




How Will You Vote in May?

One perspective of the local candidates

CHill/Voice publisher


f you thought that you’ve been seeing a lot of hoopla about Gwen O’Mahony and the NDP on the Voice pages these last few months, then prepare for more in the run up to the May 14 provincial elections. A lot more.

Why is that you ask? It’s because unlike the local Liberal candidates, O’Mahony is a base people’s politician and continuously reaches out to the community. She is highly visible because she takes the time to make herself available. O'Mahony isn't cocky in the least, nor does she see herself as a shoe-in. She knows it's going to take a lot more effort to get re-elected.

Both NDP candidates have been reaching out to our readership on a regular basis. On the other hand, the Liberal candidates have been invisible and place no value on our daily readership of 400-500.

It’s unclear how the Liberals plan to win an election by detaching themselves from the community with such surgical glee, and by wearing their magical cloaks of invisibility like they do.

Maybe their game plan is to rely on a core group of polarized Chilliwack voters who don't know, or even care, what the candidate's names are in order to sweep them to victory. But those voters aren't doing the community any favours.

I can't tell you what the Liberals need to do to win, but I can tell you how they will lose. Realistically, if they want to lose the upcoming elections, all they need to do is just stay the course. Besides, it's impossible for John Martin and Laurie Throness to do in two months what it has taken O'Mahony years to accomplish and gain the trust of the community.

It's not O'Mahony alone who has shaped her political career. The whole community has had a hand in seeing this driven woman get elected.

I’ve had the chance to get to know O’Mahony a bit over the years. I have dozens and dozens of e-mails from her talking about what she was doing in the community, and how she can make things better, and so on. In vapid contrast to that, the Voice has had little interaction with the present Liberal candidates. 

Apparently you or I don't exist to the Conservative Party either, because we've heard nothing from their candidate Chad Eros, father of 9 kids.

This guy waded into municipal politics in the last elections and thought a couple of lamer jokes would be his ticket. Not. When voters expect 150 per cent from candidates in Victoria, how is this guy going to cope with 9 kids who all need their daddy and look after constituents needs as well? Maybe he plans on getting a surrogate MLA? Either the family will suffer, or the constituents. Likely both. This guy made a career making babies, I figure he should stick to raising them and let the job of MLA go to someone who can make a full-time commitment.

Over the past few years, before Jamie Hoskins left Green Party ranks to study at SFU,  the Voice was posting Jane Sterk's releases. We've received one release from Green Party mom candidate Kim Reimer. We hope to get to know this candidate a little more, and see just how serious she is in entering the political arena. Because right now she's a total unknown.

Where is Jane Sterk? Where are the Greens? Hoskins was busy all over town rallying the youth vote. Remember that? Sure. I also try to touch base with Clive Edwards from the Western Block Party now and then.

These young people getting into politics need not have any preconceived notions to cloud their perspective. They need to have the right idea about what politics means to the community before they even begin. This will come out in the upcoming all-candidate meetings.

The Voice has had very little interaction with our MLA John Les. I reckon, he ran Chilliwack City Hall much the same way he ran his constituency office where you needed a secret handshake to get in. Many in the city breathed a collective sigh of relief when Gaetz took over the job and Les was finally out.

Now that Les, the ex-real estate flogger, is retiring and preparing to cash his first MLA welfare cheque, he should step down immediately and save the taxpayers money. Not this guy. First he has to taint the upcoming Liberal candidate’s campaigns as much as possible and set the precedent for the new Yes Men to follow.

Long ago I stopped voting for a particular party because I liked what they do and stand for. I came to the realization that it doesn’t matter what government is in power. The job will get done. The province will be governed. Life will go on in Victoria.

These days I vote for the person, not the party. If their likability factor is high, and if I feel they’d best represent me and the community based on their past performance, then I'll vote for them.


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