EDITORIAL: Faulty linkage

Qualicum Beach councillor should show more respect to the diversity of the electorate

Far be it for us to stop an elected official from providing catchy quotes, but we have to say Qualicum Beach Coun. Dave Willie likes to tread in murky waters.

Is it fair to link provincial and municipal politics in terms of predicting or labelling which voters cast ballots in what direction? We are not so sure.

In the May provincial election, voters clearly did not have a comfort level with the NDP, especially in Qualicum Beach. The vast majority of voters showed they did not trust the NDP to take care of the province’s economy or immediate future.

The lack of debate, or even mention, of local issues during the campaign for the Parksville-Qualicum seat in the Legislature tells us the vote here was all about the bigger provincial scene. So, does that mean people who oppose certain developments in Qualicum Beach are de facto NDP supporters who continue to cry over spilled milk? Despite Willie’s contentions, we don’t believe it’s that simple.

Provincial issues — and the majority of the public-purse spending — generally centre around health care and education, two portfolios municipal councils don’t see much on their agendas. Towns and cities don’t have the revenue, nor the desire we guess, to delve into these monstrous files. Municipalities concentrate on issues closer to home like roads, ditches and development.

So, if you are against the latest development in downtown Qualicum Beach, does that make you an NDP supporter?

Certainly there is some overlap, especially in Qualicum Beach. But Willie’s assertion that the 32 per cent of voters in that town who cast a ballot for the NDP are all anti-development, put-a-gate-up folk is too simplistic and, frankly, pays no respect to the diversity of the people and the issues facing the town.

There is a faction in Qualicum Beach that is incredibly loud and clearly does not represent the majority of townsfolk who are progressive and open to change, including out-of-the-box thinking on development issues. This loud minority has had a long run around here, and we applaud Willie and councillors Mary Brouilette and Bill Luchtmeijer for finally providing leadership and a voice for the silent majority. But we would urge Willie to pay a little more respect to the diversity and complexity of the electorate and to better recognize the difference between municipal and provincial voting patterns.

— Editorial by John Harding