Editorial: Election 2020’s failure to communicate

There are many more questions to consider prior to casting your 2020 ballot than space permits here.

But overriding them all should be the same one raised when Premier John Horgan sprung a snap election on the province’s electorate and his BC NDP adversaries: why? The province’s struggling industry and business sectors still do not have a satisfactory answer to that question from Horgan or anyone else in his party. However, there is more clarity for businesses and the electorate on the ramifications of opting for political opportunism over staying the course in the midst of a resurgent pandemic. Aside from adding the costs of staging an unnecessary election to COVID-19’s upwardly spiralling bill for every business and level of government, social-distancing precautions are complicating election logistics and shortchanging voters, because, as has been amply illustrated, a pandemic is a poor environment in which to air the issues upon which any meaningful election is called. For example, B.C.’s 2020 election offers no large public political gatherings or in-person events at which body language and spontaneous interaction reveal more about candidates and their parties than do static speeches and staged televised debates. The snap election is also force-feeding voters a higher-than-usual serving of hastily conceived political platforms, transparent vote-buying, evasive answers and empty promises.   All of which is hindering the province’s ability to focus a united front on the overriding health and economic issue facing B.C.: wrestling with a global pandemic. As the Captain bluntly pointed out in Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is failure to communicate, and moreover – considering the financial survival distractions B.C. businesses and their employees are facing – a failure to provide adequate opportunity for communication from political parties to the electorate and a failure to provide adequate opportunity for communication from the electorate to political parties. Consider that when you cast your ballot.