Elections are important tools for education. Both the public and the politicians who seek office ultimately learn from the exercise. We can only hope the rigours and rhetoric of this campaign result in better leadership.
The Nelson-Creston campaign provided some valuable lessons which we hope the victor uses to make her a better representative over the next four years.
NDP incumbent Michelle Mungall cruised to an easy victory. She once again proved to be a very good campaigner. Her charisma combined with a dedicated core of left leaning support in this riding make her almost unbeatable come election time.
We offer her congratulations for a well-earned win, but hope the previous five weeks have taught her a little more about the riding she represents.
Rural representation is different than big city politics. In a community where your friends are your neighbours and your neighbours are your friends, there is a strong connection amongst people. In her first term, Mungall seemed to ignore this important fact.
It continues to disturb us that Mungall expects municipal leaders to come to her. Over the next four years she must sit down on a regular basis with the city councils, school trustees and local business leaders to find out what they require from our strongest link to the provincial government.
Another troubling trend that emerged over the campaign is Mungall’s apparent lack of responsiveness to constituents. We heard many stories and received many emails from people who had reached out to her, but did not hear back. That has to change in this term.
Mungall’s biggest fault is her ambition, strange as that may sound. In the next four years she needs to focus less on taking shots at the Liberals in order to score points for her own gain. Laying the groundwork for the next election and an NDP government is not what we elected her to do.
The biggest lesson to be learned is that Mungall needs to represent us — all of us — if she is to become the effective MLA we know she can be.