big or small it’s hard not to hate politics

by underswansea

spring-jerrySpring and Gerry.

I am not fond of politics. Often it seems I am voting for the best of the worst.

I was happy when District of Invermere’s Mayor Gerry Taft decided to throw his hat in the ring to replace outgoing NDP MLA Norm Macdonald after making it clear he would not seek another term.

Norm was a good MLA for three terms in opposition of the BC provincial Liberals.

I have known Gerry since he was a youngster. He has been an excellent Mayor for the District. I have dealt with him in business and as his role as a local politician. He has always handled himself honorably.

Growing up here I have been around this town for along time and I can say you don’t always get that in local politics.

Last year I sent a letter about water use individually to the Mayor and Council and the School District. The only person who bothered to reply was Gerry.

Gerry has never ducked an issue with me. I don’t always agree with him, but I respect his methods of being fair and open and his willingness to engage with people.

As far as I’m concerned there is not much more you could ask for in a local politician.

I do not consider myself a strong supporter of the Provincial NDP. I remember the scandals, corruption and fiscal mismanagement while they held government.

However, I took out an NDP membership to cast my vote for Gerry. The fact Gerry was recruited for the position, and also supported by Norm Macdonald was proof the NDP were possibly ready to lead again.

Gerry was running against Spring Hawes, another strong candidate. I also know Spring who ran a small business and did a stint on the District council. Like Gerry I did business with Spring and exchanged a few emails regarding development.

It was refreshing to see the NDP party and Columbia-Revelstoke members had two strong candidates to pick from.

In my opinion, Gerry was the more qualified and stronger candidate to take on Liberal Columbia River Candidate, Doug Clovechok.

The nomination meeting was held last weekend.

Through a vote party members selected Gerry as Candidate for Columbia River- Revelstoke.

Shortly after, Spring questioned why Gerry won the nomination.

The NDP has an equity-seeking policy, where a woman, a visible minority, and a person with a disability or someone from the LGBTQ community must replace a retiring MLA. Spring is a woman with a spinal cord injury.

Before the nomination meeting, during the candidate vetting process, Gerry disclosed he did fit the criteria and was allowed to run.

Due to questions arising how Spring was not selected, considering the equity seeking policy, Gerry felt it necessary to announce he is bisexual.

The story made national news and was covered by CBC and in The Province

Gerry should not have been forced to announce anything. His sexual orientation is his own business. He should have been given the opportunity to announce it on his own time or not at all if he chose.

I am not in favor of the NDP’s “equity seeking” policy because of these situations.

It pisses me off when politicians or party insiders say I am not smart enough to vote for someone based on merit, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or if they have a disability.

Under the same policy, going back three terms, Norm Macdonald would never have been elected candidate for this area when Jim Doyle retired.

Nobody, who supports the NDP can dispute how well Norm has served his constituents.

If the Provincial NDP is smart and want to form the next government, someone with the qualifications to fill his boots should replace Norm.

That person has been selected.

Let’s get on with it.