Will we get the government we deserve — again?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Perhaps I was wrong about Betty Hinton.
Could it be that her lack of involvement in Kamloops wasn’t personal, but simply a reflection of her party’s attitude toward the River City?
Why else would the local Conservative constituency association not have acted on the reality everyone else seems to have accepted weeks ago — that Stephen Harper will today ask Governor General Michaelle Jean to dissolve Parliament and cause an October election?
The NDP has had a candidate — Michael Crawford — in place for an embarrassingly long time. The Liberals made their choice of Ken Sommerfeld months ago as well.
Even the Greens have had Donovan Cavers quietly raising money, as well as his profile, for quite some time.
But, so far, only Fred Bosman has come out and said he’d be willing to carry his party’s banner into the election — and the local Conservative machine doesn’t seem to eager to act on this.
In fact, now, after saying it wouldn’t be all that hard to pull together a nomination meeting, association president Dennis Piva is saying his party might just appoint someone to run for office.
Now isn’t that just ducky.
No local vetting process — and we just have to look south to see how that can go wrong.
And no opportunity for those who keep the Conservative party in Kamloops greased — and funded — to have a say in choosing the person they’ll all be expected to rally around and support.
Perhaps Kamloops will see a candidate parachuted in after all, although David Emerson is apparently accepting reality and not seeking another term of office anywhere in B.C.
Is there any other sure-bet candidate out there just waiting to start planting lawn signs here?
No name jumps to the fore, does it?
I feel badly for Bosman, because he’s a good man who really does want to represent his community.
His views are a bit too extreme for me, but I suspect he would say the same of my political beliefs.
Nevertheless, you couldn’t ask for a stronger representative of all those basic Conservative tenets, beliefs he’s held onto as he watched his party morph from the original Reform to the Alliance of Preston Manning through the Bobbsey-twinned Reform/Progressive Conservative of Harper and Peter MacKay to the Harper-defined entity it is today.
Bosman’s presence on the ballot would certainly make the campaign clear-cut for many, with Crawford’s left-leaning ideology on one side, Bosman’s classical conservative (yes, small c) views on the other, Sommerfeld coming up the middle with a bit of both and Cavers promoting the Al Gore platform.
Either way, we’re all bound to be losers at the end of the campaign.
If a candidate is appointed, that fact will dominate debate.
If one is dropped in, expect the finger-wagging to multiply.
And, if the Conservatives decide to go the proper route and vote for a candidate, they’ll be at least a week behind in campaigning, playing catch-up with all the rhetoric that reality will bring.
Throw in the electioneering we’ll have run alongside a federal campaign by the many trying for a seat on city council or the school board and it’s nothing more than a formula for confusion and indifference.
It’s likely more people will be watching the campaigning going on in the U.S. — with its personality politics and attack advertisements — than will be paying attention to what’s happening in their own city.
Which is only appropriate, since the day after the federal election, we’ll all wake up and discover what Adlai Stevenson, American Democratic politician, governor, would-be president and ambassador to the United Nations, once said.
“You get the government you deserve.”
And the Conservatives will get the candidate they deserve, too.