EDITORIAL: Time for your say

There was an uncharacteristic nasty tone to this federal election

It’s in your hands.

Candidates from coast to coast to coast are in the home stretch of this federal election.

In the riding that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach, the people who are carrying the four major-party standards (yes, the Greens have earned major party status, on the Island at least) are all community-minded people with good ideas about how we can make our region and country a better place.

Any one of John Duncan (Conservatives), Gord Johns (NDP), Carrie-Powell Davidson (Liberals) and Glenn Sollitt would be a fine Member of Parliament.

(An aside: a low priority job for whomever becomes our MP — change the name of the riding. There are more people in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region than either Courtenay or Port Alberni. Just saying.)

In our parliamentary system (insert Churchill quote here), we don’t get to vote for prime minister. However, most federal elections seem centred around the party leaders, and this one has been no different. In fact, this focus on the leaders has been more intense this time than any in recent memory.

When you cast your vote here Monday, these names will not appear on your ballot: Stephen Harper, Elizabeth May, Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau. But their names, especially Mulcair’s, have been displayed prominently beside the local candidate signs around Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Another difference this time around has been the nastiness aimed at the leaders, mostly Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He is not the first my-way-or-highway prime minister of this country, but we’re not sure the likes of John Diefenbaker or Pierre Trudeau were the targets of disrespectful derision to the level Harper has had tossed his way. Perhaps Pierre Trudeau in Alberta.

A U.S.-based writer here covering the Olympics in Vancouver said Canadians are so nice, even their out-of-service buses say sorry. That has not been the case during this election, even from the normally respectful letter-to-the-editor writers of Parksville Qualicum Beach. Sad, actually.

We have presented dozens of stories quoting local candidates on the issues. We hope those stories helped you become a more informed voter. On Monday, it’s up to you. Bookmark www.pqbnews.com on your computer, laptop, phone or tablet for results and comments from local candidates Monday night.

— Editorial by John Harding

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