Hodge: Local Liberals face the voters May 14

I admit to being fully entertained by the current provincial election…despite the fact that I think all three political parties are a farce.

How blessed are we to live where we do, and to reap the rewards of being residents of paradise?

On the heels of a ridiculously mild winter (hello global warming), Okanagan residents are now being spoiled with gorgeous weather.

Of course, now that the sunshine has finally arrived, it is only a matter of time before everyone starts to whine and snivel about how it is ‘too hot’ to do anything.

Personally, Tez and I can’t get enough of the warmth and sunshine and neither can our raised garden beds and flowers.

Bring it on!

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I admit to being fully entertained by the goings on and gnashing in the current provincial election debates (or lack of debates), despite the fact that I think all three political parties are a farce.

I basically have little use for our current provincial and federal party politics and the mockery the party system really makes with a true democratic process.

But that being said, it’s the only game we have and one we should at least partake in.

I firmly believe (despite the ineptness of the current parties and politics involved), that we truly owe it to our war veterans to get out and vote during such elections.

If for no other reason than the fact that so many young men and women gave up their lives in the belief that all of us should have a right to vote for free thinking, free speech, and other such now enshrined human rights.

I don’t care if you vote for ‘none of the above’ or simply cast a protest vote next week, what matters is that you take full advantage of your privilege to express your opinion and vote.

Many a son, brother, father, cousin, uncle, friend, fiancé, high-school sweetheart, neighbour…gave up his or her life so that you have that right—so get off your butt and vote.

If you do not make the effort to vote on Tuesday, than never bitch to me later about the government you get. You do have a say!

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I’m somewhat baffled that despite the fact I live right near the Capri Hotel in Kelowna I am in the latest version of ‘Gracie’s Finger,’ an odd and illogical wedge of downtown Kelowna that for some reason is within the Ben Stewart (Westside) riding.(Gracie’s Finger is in reference to a controversial inclusion in the 1970s of what was then solid Social Credit Party voting territory into the Vancouver home riding for Grace McCarthy, a Social Credit MLA, when it clearly should have been included in a neighbouring riding from a purely geographical viewpoint.)

I am not sure how I or Tez will vote yet in our particular riding.

That is largely to do, as stated above, with the fact that I do not support any of the parties and believe all three party leaders are inept.

Because of that I intend to vote with my heart —which means I will vote for the individual (not the party) whom I believe will give his or her best effort for their constituents.

Predictions?

I am calling for a NDP minority government.

Locally, I predict Liberal Steve Thomson will reclaim his seat in Kelowna-Mission, and that Ben Stewart will also reclaim his Westside-Kelowna seat, although it may be a tougher fight against the NDP candidate Carole Gordon that was anticipated.

The only riding of real contention, locally, that I am interested in is Kelowna-Lake Country, where I believe my former Kelowna city council cohort Graeme James may well slip up the middle between the split votes of the NDP and Liberals to win the riding for the Conservatives.

A victory by James would likely be one of the few in the entire province for the Conservatives.

I like Graeme. We seldom agreed on anything when we spent three years sitting next to each other at the Kelowna city council table, but we gained a tremendous amount of respect for each other and forged a friendship despite our philosophical differences.

James is a man of principals, a man of his word, and never one to take a stance because it is popular. He is forthright, consistent, and a man you can count on.

He is no one’s puppet and certainly no one’s yes man. I wish him well.

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One of my dearest friends ever, Jim LeGuilloux, is celebrating his latest CD release party on May 17, 18 and 19  at Whisky Jacks in West Kelowna.

His latest CD, Everything and The Box it Came In, is a brilliant acoustic album which he wrote and produced himself.

I love this album and it will serve Jimmy well. A full CD review will happen soon, but meanwhile I am grooving to several cuts on the album including Coming Home (my favourite) a remix of his superb No Regrets, and Uneasy Sense of Calm. Great stuff Jimmy and hope you have a tremendous CD release bash.

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Last but not least a happy Mother’s Day to all this Sunday.

I am reminded how blessed I was to have such an amazing woman in my life as my mom, Doris Hodge. I miss her dearly.

I am reminded of her kindness and caring often when I sit back and admire the patience and love that I see in my wife Teresa and my stepdaughter Lisa.

I am not the only one blessed to have you in this world.

Thank you.