Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The Telegram's Russell Wangersky's opinion piece on the spin to come after the winner is determined in tomorrow night's byelection in Virgina Waters made for some interesting reflection.

He minimizes the significance of the outcome by asking "Are you going to change your vote in 2015 based on the result of one byelection in urban St. John’s?"

His answer " Chances are, you don’t give a rat’s posterior who wins in someone else’s provincial byelection."

I think he is giving short shrift to significance of the timing of this particular byelection and the trickle down effect the outcome will have on things like party organization, attracting candidates and fundraising over the next 12 months. Much more is at stake than meets the eye.

This is one of those rare by-elections where the outcome will have an impact, not on who holds onto power, but on how they use it.

I am no longer a partisan player, I dabble in campaigns that interest me.

I like politicians that stand for values that I share. I am looking for people that are not sheep, who care about policy, that are not looking for an inflated pension and do not nuance their every position based on the polls alone or the electoral cycle. Leadership is what the province has been missing. 

Living outside the bubble, that 1%, that Wangersky refers to, has certainly opened my eyes to the political illiteracy that exists amongst the public. We get what we vote for, or even more painful, we get what others vote for when we stay home.

Much of what he says in this column resonates with me: The system is broken and a substantial portion of the population believes there’s essentially no difference between politicians and their parties.

However, change is possible. It will only come when we elect those individuals that are game changers. These are the people who are tied more to societal values and ethics than those of their particular parties. They are prepared to challenge party whips and party discipline. Their prime directive is determined by how they will be judged by their children in the future, not monetary gains in the here and now.

I think Cathy Bennett is one of those rare people. I hope she is given the chance to prove me right.

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