EDITORIAL: Voters asking for integrity

NANAIMO – Outrage shows voters still care about government they elect

The ethnic vote scandal currently plaguing the governing B.C. Liberal Party proved one thing – B.C. voters still care about government and the political system.

The B.C. Liberals were caught red-handed last month trying to score ‘quick wins’ in the upcoming election by apologizing to ethnic groups for past wrongs, such as the Chinese head tax.

Special exception was taken with the plan in the memo, which was leaked by the Opposition NDP, to use government resources to achieve these ends.

It’s not a new tactic in politics to try to capture votes through announcement of special projects, paid for with tax dollars.

The B.C. Liberals themselves made fun of the previous NDP government for shovelling money off the back of a truck into the lead up to an election.

So why are people getting so bent out of shape over this latest example of pandering to the electorate?

Even though everyone is doing it, it doesn’t make it right.

Despite the cynicism rampant in today’s society and the lack of faith in the system often voiced by voters, people still care deeply about this province and its elected leaders.

People still care whether they are misled. They care where their tax dollars are spent. And there is still an expectation, no matter how naive, that people elected to positions of power act with integrity and honesty.

When they don’t, when politicians fail to uphold the trust the people give to them, B.C. voters react swiftly and decisively to remove them from office.

Despite B.C.’s reputation as political blood sport, the province includes countless examples of selfless people who dedicated their lives to public service.

The ethnic vote scandal might show that we often get less than we ask for from politicians. That doesn’t mean we quit demanding excellence.