Editorial: Deadline day for referendum packages

When the deadline passes for returning 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform voting packages to Elections BC at 4:30 pm today, residents in Powell River will still be in the dark as to what system the province will use in its next provincial election.

Results will come, eventually, but while Elections BC staff tabulate votes at a secret location somewhere in the Victoria area, rhetoric that has been spewing from proponents and opponents of proportional representation will subside, for the time being at least.

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Enjoy the quiet. Once the waiting is over and results are announced, arguments for or against changing how British Columbians choose their government will inevitably be replaced by something equally irritating: complaints from the losing side. The annoying campaigns and robocalls that accompanied the voting period will come to an end, which will be especially welcome for those who received and returned their ballot early on, but there is more to come.

Complaining goes hand-in-hand with politics, and, for some individuals, life in general. If not for complaining, some people would never have a reason to comment on a website, connect on social media, or even open their mouths for that matter. However, because everyone has the choice of deciding to whom they listen, complaints and negative comments can either be responded to immediately (if one is so inclined), ignored altogether or completely dismissed.

Who wants to listen to someone complain about everything? This is why some parties remain in opposition; the voting public gets tired of the constant negativity. Like them or not, governing parties are always in a position to put a positive spin on an issue, if needed; sometimes the issues are just positive, period.

At the political level, responding, ignoring or dismissing the constant barrage of complaints is more difficult. First of all: they never end, from one side or the other. Second: the spin and evasiveness involved makes deciphering the actual intent of the complaint nearly impossible to figure out.

Much of what an opposition party does involves complaining about what the governing party is doing. The BC NDP filled that role for 16 years. Now the BC Liberals are learning how to cope with not getting their own way.

Some people stomp their feet like a child when someone disagrees with what they want or prevents them from getting their way. Some politicians respond in a similar fashion when the other side gets to decide on a direction.

Whatever the referendum result is, complaining in the form of foot stomps will be coming from somewhere; it’s just a matter of how many boots are involved.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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