Right in the centre - Will election overload allow the important issues to emerge?


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

We Manitobans are in for a lot of electioneering over the next 12-18 months. We just got through the municipal elections, which saw major changes in many towns and RMs. It was almost inevitable that the day would come in some communities when a number of younger people would come out and get elected. It happened in many communities.

Going forward, we will be getting into the federal election in October 2019, followed by a Manitoba election 12 months later. With fixed date elections, obviously, the date is predictable. What people may not have realized is that the campaigns are traditionally about 35 days, the fixed date situation means the campaigns really never end. We will be inundated with election information continuously for the next 20 months.

It is tempting to say that any election can change the course of history. The 1968 federal election that brought Trudeau senior to office certainly did. Many would argue that the change was not for the better and I tend to agree. This next federal election will determine if Canada is going to continue to battle the oil industry in Alberta, while sucking up to Saudi Arabia, or will the government become more nationalistic and diminish the international trending.

As of now, Canada seems to be doing everything it can to appease the globalist movement; more foreign oil, more investment in foreign lands, immigration and refugee levels that seem unsustainable. All these trends are a bit scary to say the least. On the home front, some aspects of human rights, such as avoiding hurt feelings and making up new trouble spots in our society where they didn’t exist before, along with re-writing history, are getting a lot of attention. Meanwhile,  poverty, violence against women and men and drug abuse are running amok.

It still burns me that many millions of dollars were spent on the Canadian Museum of Human Rights at a time when basic human rights, such as clean water, aren’t available in every community in Canada. I have always thought it ironic that within the very shadow of the CMHR, women, Indigenous and otherwise, are being exploited and even murdered. The best line I ever heard about Manitoba was: “We took our human rights and put them in a museum, never to be seen again.”

The next federal election will likely be fought over the carbon tax, a useless measure to fix a problem that basically doesn’t exist in Canada. Even if we do have a carbon/air pollution problem in Canada (which I don’t believe we have), a carbon tax isn’t going to help. Goods still have to be hauled and delivered. The majority of people do not have access to public transportation and must drive their cars. Farms have to be farmed. Electric cars are a long way off in non-urban areas. Oil and gas will still have to be used for a long time yet.

I am concerned that, as has happened many times before, the real issues will be ignored. Real issues like clean water, good roads, real human rights, like not being murdered, for all ages needs to be addressed. Carbon isn’t a real issue. Thin-skinned people aren’t real issues. Banning politically incorrect speech isn’t a real issue.

It remains to be seen if the real issues ever come to the surface.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer president of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.