Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The (New) Democratic Process

Yesterday, we had a provincial election. Having had a minority government for almost 10 years, this election being called was no surprise. However, it was the 5th election in 11 years instead of the usual one every 4 years or's all a part of our democracy, but still frustrating when the governing body has so many obstacles it rarely gets anything done. Hopefully, this new government will improve things in this province.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) rather than the Progressive Conservatives or Liberals is now the ruling party. Nova Scotia has always been a PC or Liberal province until now. The NDP is more socialistic than the other parties and now have to prove that they are worthy of running the province. We'll see.

I was at the headquarters for a PC candidate last night as the returns were coming in. It's a very interesting process and to watch from behind the scenes is rather cool. My mom has been a political junkie and activist, behind the scenes, since before I was born, and she was not pleased with the outcome.

I said to the Wookie tonight after hearing the voter stats, that less than 30 % of the voting population voted for the winning party. Turns out it was 26%. Voter turnout was about 58%. I am disgusted with that number. At the political Q and A I moderated last week, I reminded he audience that the disabled community of Nova Scotia comprises 20% of the population. And 20% can make a big difference. I can't believe the number of people NOT voting. I am not the political junkie my mother is, but during almost every break when on air yesterday, I told folks to go vote. And I have always done so. I guess I have to drive them to the polls and check their ballots for them now, too.....sheesh.

Anyway, as I reminded people at the meeting, we have to, as individuals, pick up the phone, write letters, ask questions, demand answers. Politicians are interested in individuals' stories, they want to solve problems, fix things. It makes them look good and feel good. After all, they are working for US, not the other way around. It may take more than one letter or one phone call, but once you explain yourself to an aid, he or she gets the ear of the politician.

I realize that not everyone has as much chutzpah as I. To give you an example, there was an automated message left on my answering machine, but the ex just heard the automated voice and thought Stephen Hawking was calling for me. It didn't surprise him that Stephen Hawking might be calling me as we had just gotten hooked up to the internet and I was telling him about all the contacts I was making with folks around the world. (It was actually the local library calling to tell me a book was in) I will talk to anyone and reach out to anyone as well. Last year, I read a great article about ship salvagers and wrote the author, as I felt the story deserved a wider audience, perhaps as a movie. He wrote back (!) to tell me he had been hired to write a movie treatment of the article. Very cool.

The point is, I will make contact if I want to know something. Why don't other people? I write letters to the editor of our provincial paper to offer praise when due and am lucky I have a microphone and radio show to broadcast my opinions about things ranging from lousy drivers to dog owners who don't pick up after their pets. And every time I offer an opinion, I get e-mails from people agreeing with me.

People have to stop complaining about things and start taking action. Until then, people will have to listen to me and my big mouth.


1 comment:

Blinders Off said...

It is good to know I am not the only one with a big mouth :)

It's frustrating at times, but it is worth it when you witness CHANGE for having a big mouth.

I am enjoying CHANGE from my city's Mayor election last year for having a big mouth.

Do not give up your big mouth for CHANGE.