To the editor:
Among Canadians, British Columbians have the reputation, together with the Quebecers, of having the most discordant and divided political culture. This reputation is for the most part a valid description.
The political culture of B.C. can most likely be described as “bipolar.” You see there are two sets of political beliefs in opposition to each other, as the politics of the province are discussed, defined, debated and described. This is due to the economic structure of B.C. and the historic origins of its population.
B.C. has consistently experienced population growth, this has primarily come by immigration from outside the province and this act has given a unique feature to the province’s political culture. Because the electorate comes from diverse historical backgrounds and lacks common heritage, political appeals to the past and historical symbols are limited or absent so the political views tend to revolve around the future.
The number of reasons for this dominance of immigration is due in part by the enviable climate we enjoy in B.C. For people coming from the Prairies or Quebec, the B.C. weather is sure better than what they are accustomed to.
I have often wondered if the fact that B.C. is so multicultural is the reason for the low percentage of people exercising their right to vote. The minority voting, possibly coming from another country and having a different culture, make it more difficult to decide who would be the best person to vote for.
Lately when talking with people complaining about the Liberal Party I often reply: “Why do you complain—you put them in the power.” And to my surprise most of the time the reply is: “I did not put them there as I did not vote.”
Give the Liberals a chance. If they do not do what we expect from them, we can vote them out in four years.
How easy it is to criticize. My suggestion is vote first—then criticize.
Gussie Desjardins, Kelowna