Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Voters in Maple Ridge have the last word

Radio Haney was witness to one of the all candidates meetings held, appropriately, in St Andrew's Heritage Church in Haney.

The voters in this town tend to be on the older side, though I saw quite a few bright young faces at the advanced poles and even more on polling day. It was interesting comparing the firm determined looks of the elderly voter to that of the slightly uncertain look on the fresh faced first-time voter. "You've yet to be let down by a party you voted for, "I thought about the young. And with the older voters in mind I wondered if they would vote despite so many broken promises over the decades for their favourite party.

There is something quaint and familiar about the voting process in Maple Ridge. It is a bit like a school reunion where only half - if that - of the invited guests show up. Held as it were in mostly wooden structures that have remained standing here on the banks of the Fraser river, notwithstanding the weather, vandalism and the occassional fire (fires love wood you know), it is hard not to be reminded of our past, a not-so-distant past. I say 'our past' though Radio Haney has only been around for some 15 years, so one should not presume too much.

This was a ho-hum provincial election by all accounts. That's the problem with fixing the date for an election; you know its coming, wanted or not. A ho-hum election featuring less than ho-hum candidates. You'd swear some of them were quite determined not to win at all. Campaigning is tough work and it seems most of the work is left to the candidate; often a blatantly obvious one man show.

If the polls are accurate then it is fair to say that we live in a well-balanced community with the results being so close as to put a halt to any pre-partying until the final count was in. No runaway, slash and burn landslides in this district thank you very much. And that about covers it for Maple Ridge. A little to the right, a little to the left. A little of the unacceptable face of capitalism blended with just enough leftism not to qualify for outright communism. Tons of union workers nicely balanced by a barrage of self-employed individuals. All they have in common as an enemy is government itself. We can all find fault with government; and when we go the polls we go under the illusion that our party will 'sort it out.' Save the trees, save the children, spare the poor, help the aged, keep our town safe from sex, drugs and rock and roll, stop/start the developers and ring that bell, ding dong dell.

At least it is all over now and we only have to glance at the NEWS or the TIMES once in a while over the next coming years to see how Mr Sather and Mr Dalton are doing in Victoria.

In effect Maple Ridge now has a left hand and indeed a right hand. One can only hope that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. A brain between the two hands would be helpful too. Only time will tell.

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