Two young David Merner supporters cry in the aftermath of the election at the Green Party of Canada’s election night party at the Crystal Gardens in Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

EDITORIAL: When the election hangover fades our work begins

The electorate has a responsibility

The election results are in and we can now try to shake the hangover of the non-stop political indignation and accusations that characterized our federal election campaign.

It was an election that Justin Trudeau described as the dirtiest, nastiest campaign ever, rife with disinformation (that’s the political word for lies).

Andrew Sheer railed against the Liberals, warning of higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less money in everyone’s pockets.

The Liberals raised the social cost of a Conservative government, painting it with the brush of racism, intolerance, and greed.

In truth, neither of those parties managed to escape unscathed by accusations of racism, dishonesty and just plain meanness.

In the latter days of the campaign, as polls started fraying the nerves of the party elites, both parties turned their attention to the NDP, alternating between open threats and mealy-mouthed cajoling in anticipation of a minority government.

And the NDP was certainly not blameless. It took to attacking the Green Party with accusations that the Greens would “sell-out” to the Conservatives.

It was more than a little tiresome. Exhausting, really.

And, if that wasn’t fatiguing enough, smoke from the American political dumpster fire continued to blow over the border, threatening to spread the xenophobic lunacy of the U.S.’s executive branch to our own body politic. The overt nationalism of the People’s Party served as the canary in the coal mine in that regard.

But besides being tiresome, the degradation of the standards of behavior in politics presents another, very real danger. It breeds a cynicism that, if embraced, runs the risk of having us believe that all politicians are the same; changing once they take office.

Charles DeGaulle encapsulated that phenomenon when he observed that “In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant”.

But that isn’t always true. It’s frequently not.

That’s where the electorate has a responsibility.

Once the election hangover fades, our work really just begins. It’s our job to pay attention to the candidates who are now in power and watch, not just what they say, but what they do and how they vote.

We need to sort out the public servants from the self-serving politicians.

Any MP who, having extolled his or her concern about an issue then votes to exacerbate that same issue should be called out for that hypocrisy, loudly and often.

Next election, they should be shown the curb.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

New development will pay homage to fallen World War One pilot

1015 Cook St. will become 28 market rental homes with mural

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

Saanich Peninsula business leader calls for education campaign on social distancing

Chamber boss Denny Warner says Sidney demographics make consistent safety protocols necessary

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

Most Read