There’s an old adage that we get the government we deserve — it remains to be seen what that means for B.C. after this provincial election’s surprising outcome.
Those who took the time to show up and mark a ballot gave the BC Liberal Party a fourth mandate. While the premier has yet to obtain a seat in the Legislature, her party’s clear majority gives it the right to govern this province for the next four years. I hope they’ll govern wisely, with humility, and with the needs of future generations in mind.
In Cariboo North and Cariboo-Chilcotin, voters chose to send government MLAs to Victoria. That puts these MLAs in the unenviable position of having no excuses but to deliver on their election promise to get the Cariboo-Chilcotin the resources we need to diversify our economy and address a host of social concerns. I wish both Coralee and Donna well, and I have no doubt they will work hard for our region.
Over the eight years I had the privilege of serving as Cariboo North’s provincial representative I learned a lot about the people and communities that make up this riding; we live in a truly special part of B.C. I also learned a lot about how government does and doesn’t work, and I experienced firsthand that the way we do politics gets in the way of achieving good governance.
I leave office with no regrets and a heart full of gratitude: toward those who helped me to represent our region to the best of my abilities; toward those who worked with me to raise the profile of key provincial issues; and toward those who put a great deal of time and energy into fighting for democratic reforms, including trying to get me elected as an Independent.
We will only get good government if we, as citizens, demand it between elections by engaging more fully in the democratic process and by holding our MLAs to account for every decision they make. In short, if we want good government, we’ll have to work for it.
Now that my time as an elected representative has come to an end, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves as a citizen to continue to work for a better democracy. I hope you’ll join me.
Bob Simpson is the outgoing Independent MLA for Cariboo North.