The Crayon Box: Every Vote Matters

This has been a wonderful journey for me, but at last it reaches its end. But before I deliver my final thoughts, there’s one more interview: PC member Bill Oliver (Kings Centre).
Mr. Oliver says that a historical figure that inspires him is Winston Churchill. Mr. Oliver described him as a direct man who took charge and made good decisions. Making good decisions was a central theme of our interview, as he pointed out that government needs to focus on what’s best for the province, not just a party. He feels as though it’s time for the different parties, who he believes all have good members, to start working together to bring real change. He notes that we’re at an important moment in history, one where we’re going to have to make some unpopular decisions because that’s what’s best for the province. He feels as though one of the reasons some people don’t trust government is because of the lack of communication governments have with their people. He feels as though government needs to be very open and clear on its position. After that, people will start to understand why the government does what it does. He said that being a politician has actually made him more compassionate and has taught him how to multitask. Mr. Oliver noted that we need a better education system, one that encourages innovation. “Politicians don’t always make the best choices,” he says, which is why he wants input from the people legislation will actually affect, like teachers contributing to education reform. And based on precedent, you can probably guess that he said that he would be a blue crayon. To him, the question had nothing to do with associating a colour with a party, which he says is bad, (and wasn’t the intent behind my question), but simply because blue is a colour that calms him and that he enjoys.
Now, I wanted to take this time to summarize some of the more important things the politicians said. One common theme was that the government needs to start working together more. As of late, politics has become about division, about Viewpoint vs. Viewpoint. But as anyone who has ever been in an argument is aware, not much actually gets done when all you do is fight. Secondly, many feel that the lack of communication is causing a huge divide between the voters and the politicians. That’s one of the reasons we decided to start this column. The voters need to take some initiative, but politicians have a much larger role to play. Third, whipped votes. Some parties feel as though they mean politicians can’t serve their constituents, while others feel as though parties have to be united to get anything done. Finally: be aware and get involved. It’s easy to become cynical about politics, but not trying to change anything, nothing changes. And make sure you learn how to spot the stories that are real and the ones that aren’t. There are some people who spread false information to sway you into voting for one thing or another, so try reading about the same stories from different sources to make sure they’re valid.
Just remember: your vote does matter. Sure, it’s just one vote, but if everyone who thought “my vote doesn’t matter” voted anyway, I think the province would be a much better place. Democracy is a group effort, we all have to play our part. That’s what makes it so difficult, but also so great. So, this September, go vote for who you think would run our province the best. I know I will be.