Courier editorials – Let the 44th Hunger Games begin

From the Tuesday, Aug. 17 edition of The Saint Croix Courier

Ladies and gentlemen, let the 44th Hunger Games…whoops, I mean federal election…begin!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’re all aware Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Gov. Gen. Mary Simon to dissolve government on Sunday morning, triggering a federal election.

And if you feel like we *just* had a federal election, you wouldn’t be wrong. Canadians last went to the polls in October 2019, and weren’t due to head back until October 2023. But Trudeau and his Liberal party claim that with a new mandate, one that Canadians didn’t vote on in 2019 thanks to the pandemic, we deserve the opportunity to make that choice now going forward.

And yes, I understand the logic, but I’m not sure I can get behind the cost of allowing us to choose again.

As it stands, the federal government has some decent checks and balances, with the Liberal party holding 15 fewer seats at 155 than it would require for a majority, meaning to get much done there has to be a collaborative effort between the Liberals and another party; traditionally the NDP.

A minority government means no single party can unilaterally make big decisions, unless through an Order in Council (which the Liberal party enacted in May 2020 with its useless firearm legislation) or the support of members of other parties.

It’s a system I like, as someone who isn’t a fan of majority governments. But a majority is what pollsters are already suggesting the Liberals are in position to gain, holding (as of press time) some 33 per cent of the vote, followed by the Conservatives with 28 per cent.

Here in our riding of New Brunswick Southwest, current MP John Williamson will throw his hat back in the ring to hold his title, Jason Hickey will run for the Liberals, John Reist for the Green Party, Meryl Sarty for the People’s Party, and while the NDP have a potential candidate, no formal election within the party has taken place.

And while the Courier will be offering lots of coverage of the election and the candidates as we move through the coming few weeks prior to September 20, here’s what I’m going to ask you, those in the riding of NB Southwest to do; start taking the time to learn about what the federal government does, and is responsible for. Be careful not to vote federally on issues that are provincial; the two governments are different, as are the respective responsibilities.

Remember when you cast your vote on September 20, you won’t see the names of federal party leaders, you’ll be voting for the person you believe can best represent you and your needs in the federal House of Commons.

Decide on the issues which matter most to you, and then head towards the party that best supports what you’d like to see in the riding.

Here at the Courier, we’ll do our best to break it all down for you, so watch the paper and our website, www.stcroixcourier, for not only election coverage, but some breakdowns of the differences between federal and provincial government, and other basic election information.

This will be a quick and likely dirty campaign. Buckle-up.

Krisi Marples