We live in different federal ridings. Corky lives in South Okanagan-West Kootenay while Russell lives in Kootenay-Columbia. Despite the seemingly arbitrary boundaries, we have some thoughts about this election that we would like to share.
The wonderful thing about this election is that this is the first federal election that is finally about climate change. We are both glad that this issue, so long ignored by both candidates and the electorate, is now front and centre.
The other interesting thing is that, as far as anyone can tell, no party is likely to win a clear majority. We are likely headed for a minority government and that is good for Canada and the democratic process.
So, given the unique nature of the times, how might people make up their mind how to vote?
You might think of yourself as a Liberal but, given our history, you know that neither riding will elect a Liberal candidate. Maybe you really want to vote Green, or have always voted Green to support Elizabeth May. But you know that neither Cranbrook nor Penticton is going to elect a Green candidate any time soon. Besides, the Greens don’t need votes so much as a minority government that will give them the best chance of achieving proportional representation.
The Conservatives are favoured to win in both ridings. If Liberal leaning voters vote Liberal and Green voters vote Green we are likely to risk giving the Conservatives a majority government, or risk a coalition between the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois, perhaps the worst possible option.
Regardless of the past, or what your heart thinks is best, we suggest that all of us in the Kootenay go quietly into the ballot box and vote for the two honest guys we already have. And let Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh determine who they will support to govern and for how long.
That way, we might actually begin to grapple with our climate emergency and deny the one per cent the right to determine our future.