You may already have gathered (correctly) from the contributions on this month’s “Letters” page that those unhappy with my recent piece about the federal election outnumbered those from readers who share my discontent with our national leaders. (If you haven’t read this month’s letters yet, now would be a good time.)
Another reader who took the time to write was Trevor Calkins of Victoria, to whom I will now yield the floor: “I read your magazine because it is full of interesting, balanced articles and useful advice. From now on, I will skip the editorial. It didn’t give me any information and it certainly didn’t give me hope—it is difficult to believe that an editorial that ends with ‘The answer seems to be to hope’ could have been so full of bile. Someone who suggests that most politicians are unworthy of trust, consistently tell lies, constantly contradict themselves, and don’t know what they believe in should either run for office or leave the country. “I have been voting in British Columbia for 45 years. I have lived in four different constituencies and over the years have voted for Green, Liberal, and NDP candidates who have been elected. I can think of a Conservative I would have voted for if I had been in his constituency. None of those people lied, consistently contradicted themselves, lacked beliefs, or were unworthy of my trust. I think the editor needs to take a look inside himself to find the source of his problems with our democracy. “As advised, I will ‘keep on listening and thinking.’ However, I won’t be glad the election is ‘over and done with.’ Instead, I will appreciate the fact that I live in a country where I get to vote, and my vote counts.”
I hope no one is under the misapprehension that not enjoying this election means that I don’t appreciate living in a democracy. I wrote, “If you believe in democracy, you have to vote.” I meant precisely that; I didn’t think I had to add that I do, in fact, believe in democracy and vote in every election. If I did not believe in democracy and the value of my vote, it wouldn’t cause me nearly as
much pain as it does to see politicians behave in a manner I deem unworthy of democratic leaders—that is the source of my problem with our democracy. My thanks to everyone who wrote. If I’m going to vent my spleen in this space, I need to rely on you to challenge me.
Murray Lewis, Editor-in-Chief