To the editor:
The previously civilized Westside-Kelowna byelection turned ugly at the debates last week as motley challengers bellowed diatribes at Premier Christy Clark.
“Maybe someone needs a new ovary?” suggested independent candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk.
“Christy Clark or Kris Kringle?” asked Conservative candidate Sean Upshaw.
“We need to ban Christy Clark from the legislature,” cried independent Korry Zepik.
Huh? These personal insults rained down just after we narrowly survived months of boisterous campaigning and ceaseless onslaughts of partisan rhetoric.
It’s not the principle of challenging the premier for a seat that upsets me, it’s the commitment to protest and the behaviours of the seven challengers (excluding independent John Marks).
It is true that the Liberals ran a “negative” campaign this spring by communicating the track record of Adrian Dix and the NDP.
Clark is also far from perfect. We all are.
But this byelection has brought a new brand and order of gruesome nastiness that has not been seen before in Okanagan politics.
To my disgust I add my disappointment—the premier’s competitors have offered few constructive arguments.
I want a representative who can stand in the legislature and add insights to proposed policies.
Instead, candidates seem focused on cruelly criticizing the premier’s smile.
I want to vote for something, not against someone.
On May 14, 795,946 British Columbians asked the Liberals to form government under the leadership of Clark.
She has earned the privilege of serving as premier. Now it wouldn’t hurt these unproven opponents to show a smidgen of respect for the leader of our province.
If that isn’t enough to earn the right to a respectful conversation, perhaps just being another human being who is trying to contribute to British Columbia’s leadership does.
I think Christy Clark will win the byelection, but not before time, energy and resources have disappeared into senseless politicking, and childish name-calling has turned us all off the democratic process.