B.C. Premier John Horgan, asked for the legislative assembly’s dissolution on Monday, Sept. 21st, which precipitated a general election on October 24th. We are now facing an election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We can debate whether it is or it is not the right timing for an election. However, this decision has already been made for us. It is done. We have been in the electoral process for a week already. Continuing to debate whether the time is right or not for an election, will get us nowhere. No matter what, we will face the next election during the pandemic crisis.
The upcoming election will be the first one to be held during an official state of emergency since the Second World War. It is hard to predict when this difficult time will end, just as it was difficult to predict when our country was at war. There is no way to know when the time will be right again for a situation such as an election.
New Brunswick elected their a new provincial government in September, despite the pandemic, and they made it through. Saskatchewan will face the same in the near-future.
There will be many ways to vote in the election. It is possible to vote by mail, to vote as always, in person (with COVID-19 protocols in place), or also to vote by phone if you are concerned about health risks. BC Elections has pledged to ensure that the vote will be conducted in a safe way.
So now what? Now is the time to listen to party leaders and candidates in each region. They will discuss several topics that we are already aware of, such as the pandemic crisis, the opioid crisis, the climate crisis… the list goes on — there are a lot of crises.
Our mandate is to listen to them attentively in order to make an informed vote, based on the information they will be giving us in the coming weeks. Diversify the media you listen to and read, listen to debates, and read news articles and opinion pieces both for and against your favourite candidates. It is the only way we will succeed in electing the next government of B.C.
The question we must ask ourselves today is who is the best candidate for the future of our province during these challenging times, not if the time is right for an election. It’s too late for that.