Thursday, December 14, 2017

Two out of three -- not good enough

Thankfully, there were a few rays of good news this week. In the US, Democrats scored a victory -- both political and moral -- when voters in Alabama elected Doug Jones to represent them in the Senate, the first time in more than 20 years for such an occurrence. This marked a huge shift in thinking. Or, perhaps it meant simply the beginning of thinking: not choosing the 'same old, same old' candidate from the Old Boys' Network. Mind you, voters there had plenty of reasons to not vote for the incumbent, but that's another story or two.

Locally, voters in the riding where I live also made history by coming out to support the federal Liberal candidate. In doing so, they gave us our first Liberal Member of Parliament in 64 years. We've had nothing but conservatives of one stripe or other heading to Ottawa on our behalf for way too long. And even though I am not always fond of the federal Liberals, I'll admit that I was part of this sea change. For the only the second time in all my years of voting, someone I cast a ballot for has won a seat. I can only hope that with proportional representation becoming a stronger possibility -- at least at the provincial level -- my vote will count more often.

So, two good news stories, but counterbalanced by one very bad one: On Monday, the provincial government came down with its decision on the fate of the Peace River Valley -- in essence, damning it by going ahead with plans to dam it. This Site C decision is bound to have many negative repercussions for the provincial NDP, the party currently in control (by a hair) here. As for the other negative outcomes -- disregard for farmland, First Nations claims and heritage, and of course the overall environmental losses (forests, fish, birds and a slew of wildlife), those will echo far into the future. Although our premier's statement was thoughtful, it's hard for me to not be suspicious of political ties that may have weighed on him. But, that's only speculation, and not something that's going to change anything -- especially not for residents of BC, in particular, those who live in this region of the Peace, whose homes and land will be flooded.

So, two out of three reasons to celebrate; one to cry over.

It's interesting that the two positive outcomes were brought about through the voice of the people, while the Site C decision was made by a group of politicians sitting around a table. Had there been a referendum, with our province's citizens voting to decide, might the result been different?

All I can hope is that come Solstice, we'll start seeing more change for the better. 

1 comment:

Janet Vickers said...

A thoughtful gathering of events. Hoping we can create more conversations on the state of our planet and democracy.