The federal election is behind us, so life gets back to normal. Actually, I hope not since we have an opportunity before us.
As a candidate, this was my second election, with the first being last year’s local election. My interest in politics has never been about adding to my resume. It has been about changing a system that simply doesn’t work for too many. We have a political system that isn’t truly representative, but this isn’t a letter about the need for electoral reform.
It is about the opportunity our community has to truly change the way we “do politics” in this community. It is about taking a good look in the mirror and asking ourselves if we are acting in the best interest of our community – the entire community.
If we look at the election results, approximately 28,953 people voted for the Conservatives and approximately 30,822 voted for the Liberals, NDP and Green party.
One can assume that these voters were voting for something other than the Conservative mandate.
Will these 30,822 members of community receive equal representation over the next few years? Many conversations I have had, make me ask this question. There were voters that expressed their desire to support a change and yet a fear that support would impact their business opportunities in our community or other relationships. This concerns me, not as a candidate but as a citizen that values freedom and equality.
I recently co-organized a community dinner and witnessed a wonderfully diverse group of people enjoy a meal together. It represented the best of our community, people from varied socio-economic, religious and political segments of the population. We enjoyed great conversation and a meal. Was that evening an apparition or an example of what is possible? After hearing from people that fear retaliation by supporting something other than the status quo, I am left to wonder.
This letter isn’t written in anger. It is written with hope that we can do better. That we can operate more from a place of humanity and less from a place confined by labels (i.e. religious, political or socio-economic). I also write it as a candidate that received 10,418 votes from people that voted for change, and I take that seriously.
When every member of a community feels safe, represented and has the opportunity to achieve success, we all win. It is my hope that as a community we can find more ways to come together, in truly non-partisan endeavours that support the needs of the people and our environment, moving forward.
I think we can all agree change is necessary, however, we always don’t agree on how to get there. Let’s not let that deter us from creating a community where people feel free to express themselves, even their political views.
Stacey Wakelin, Langley