The importance of your one vote

I guess is really is true that we learn everything we need to know before we hit puberty, and then we sleep through the rest of our education.

I hope not, but it sure would explain a lot.

The only surprises in the recent federal election was that Saskatchewan went blue, the only exception being veteran Liberal MP Ralph Goodale’s Wascana riding, and that little fleck of orange in Edmonton-Sherwood Park in Alberta’s sea of blue.

Now that the election Olympics are over – the name calling, mud slinging, chest beating and all the other events – the post election “what were they thinking?” scrutiny has begun.

In the “I should have bought a lottery ticket instead” category, there is the new MP for Berthier-Maskinongé, Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

Brosseau is having her 15 minutes of fame already. Whether she is enjoying it or not remains to be seen.

(Note: Be careful what you wish for.)

She doesn’t live in her riding. Doesn’t even live in Quebec. Doesn’t speak French. Has never been to her riding, but she’s planning to visit.

But 22,484 people voted for her and defeated incumbent Bloc Quebecois MP Guy Andre who was looking for his fourth election. Only 16,668 voters supported him.

One might think it was more a case of getting rid of the BQ MPs than voting for exceptional NDP candidates.

Now people are questioning: How can you let someone run for election in a riding where they don’t live?

Happens all the time. It’s no secret. It’s up to the voter to pay attention and decide whether they want to vote for that candidate, whether someone who lives outside the riding can represent their interests.

Once the voter decides, no one can “unvote” them except the voters (recall or next election) unless they have disqualified themselves in some technical way.Political party leaders often parachute into a friendly riding where their party enjoys unequivocal support.

Voter beware. Your vote is the true currency that this country runs on. Don’t squander it.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal