Sadly, we have to put politics in front of us - The Orca
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Sadly, we have to put politics in front of us

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Jody Vance: Of course Elections BC will make voting as safe as possible. But that doesn’t make forcing a by-definition unnecessary election healthy.

How do you feel about a snap election call in BC?

I can tell you that the 12 year old in our house threw down while watching Monday’s press conference: “are you kidding me?”

With no inkling as to my son’s political leanings, his reaction spoke to me.

Listening to BC NDP leader John Horgan say, with a straight face: “it’s time to put politics behind us.”

The boy facepalmed and asked “how is calling a snap election putting politics behind us?” Good question, bud.

No matter your political stripe, calling an election during a global (never mind provincial) state of emergency and attempting to frame it as anything but political is some next level power yoga.

So there’s zero surprise here at the visceral reaction to ripping up the CASA deal that put the BC NDP in government: folks are pissed.

So much so, that NDP internal polling numbers must have been off the charts to even consider this move.

For some, it came as a blindside hit – but surely this move only came after almost surgical study and number crunching internally. It will be interesting to see where those numbers land after the initial blowback; I wonder if the NDP factored in the layer of stress to a maxed-out electorate.

With all that said, allow me to return to newly-minted political pundit and COVID-19 high schooler:

“Mom, are you worried about voting in a snap election during a state of emergency?”

My answer was firm and honest: “Nah. It will be fine. I hope every British Columbian casts a ballot by mail or in person.” BC’s Provincial Health Officer has been consulting with Elections BC for months on how to conduct safe elections at all levels.

It is extremely important for British Columbians to know that mail in voting is absolutely a thing here and is turnkey to register. I registered Monday afternoon; it took under five minutes. Done. Pass it on.

It’s tougher to manage the emotional and mental stress of this political move; so many people already feel maxed with the uncertainty, unemployment, unprecedented pandemic related stress and anxiety. This ask to switch gears and become a truly informed electorate, right now, is a big one. It’s unfair, I think, to expect politics to be on the front burner over these next 30 days.

Don’t even get me started on virtual campaigning.

But in our house, we can’t get past the why. The last six months have certainly proven to me that planning four years down the road is next to impossible.

What’s really irking me in all of this unnecessary election noise is how inundated we will be with sniping and nastiness for the next month. Our household is tired of watching the anger in the US from afar. I’m not looking forward to the inevitable divisiveness and attacks that come with campaigns.

Politics behind us? No one believes that.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.

SWIM ON:

SWIM ON