Editorial: Minority government an opportunity

Universal health care and the Canada Pension Plan: brought to you by a minority government.

Universal health care and the Canada Pension Plan: brought to you by a minority government.

There is much speculation already about how long the new federal government in Ottawa will last, but history tells us that minority governments don’t have to be a bad thing, and they can get significant work done — see the examples above.

What is needed is for our elected representatives to act like the adults they are and negotiate compromises that will benefit our country as a whole. That’s what the voters have told them they want, and it’s in their best interests, and ours, to work together. We are faced with too many important issues for them to get bogged down in infighting and intractable positions.

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford has chosen the NDP’s Alistair MacGregor to head to Ottawa as our representative once again, to bring our diverse voices to the table. As a member of a party that could hold the balance of power it is a real opportunity to bring our riding’s concerns and hopes for the future forward on the national stage. MacGregor has proven himself to be willing to collaborate, listen to, and work with others to get the work done, and we expect nothing less from him now. The difference is, this time around everybody will have even more incentive to do the same.

We do not believe that Canadians want to go back to the polls right away, and all of our elected officials should be mindful of this as they take their seats in the House of Commons.

Things like more action on the environment, as the youth of this country are telling us we need, and a national pharmacare plan are entirely doable with a minority government — and those are just a couple of examples.

We are profoundly disappointed by the tone that has been taken by both the federal Conservatives and the provincial Conservative governments across the prairies. (Seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan were swept by the Conservatives.) It is decidedly not one of respect for the rest of Canadian voters who did not share their point of view and a willingness to work together. Instead they’ve started beating the drum of separation. In a democracy, you don’t always get what you want. Threatening to leave isn’t the way to respond.

Much like the minority governments of Lester B. Pearson that brought us universal health care and the Canada Pension Plan (and our Canadian flag), we want our politicians to look at this as an opportunity to really move Canada forward. It has been done. It can be done again.

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