To the editor,
Re: Nanaimo-Ladysmith goes Green, May 9.
The federal byelection held in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on May 6 saw about 40 per cent of eligible voters turn out to participate, with the successful Green Party candidate receiving about 37 per cent of all votes cast. The new MP-elect will go to Ottawa with a mediocre mandate. He will be sworn in during the final week of May at the earliest, and the House Of Commons will recess in mid-June, when all MPs return to their ridings for the summer of campaigning on the rubber-chicken barbecue circuit.
As the junior MP in the caucus of two, he will have little or no opportunity to make any kind of impression in his three weeks serving in Ottawa. One slight advantage may be that his election signage could stay in place on supporters’ lawns over the next few months of the campaign, rather than removing signs for just a few weeks between elections.
No doubt other Canadians look at the byelection results with a somewhat more positive attitude than my admittedly jaded cynicism, but when all the preceding facts and figures are taken into consideration it really makes it difficult to become too serious about any of our politicians.
Yet we are about to be bombarded ad nauseam with campaign promises and advertisements from all ends of the political spectrum; we will be told how much benefits we can expect to receive by electing one party over another, and how one party is going to save the planet while other parties will sit back and allow it to implode. So many words and heated rhetoric will be searing through the atmosphere and airwaves, it will be almost impossible to keep track of who is saying what. Fifty years ago, when the current prime minister’s father derided opposition MPs as nobodies when they were 50 yards away from Parliament Hill, he was probably being truthful for once. Maybe we should reconsider his words during the next few months while listening to all the babble from the Ottawa rabble.
Bernie Smith, Parksville
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