Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

COLUMN: Be part of an informed electorate in 2019

“Information is currency in a democracy”

I don’t think you need to agree with my worldview to understand that the way our politicians present their worldviews is tribal, incomplete and exhausting.

In 2019, Alberta will have two major elections — provincial and federal — and for the most part, everyone is already in their camps waiting for the next faux-outrage to drop on their social media feeds.

Maybe outrage culture is a result of social media, but how it all ends up shaking out is politicians only telling you what their opponents are not doing and then presenting their counter-policies as three-word memes. Okay great.

What people actually need in their daily lives are policies that benefit them and voters deserve to know how their choice at the ballot will affect them directly.

This requires first that politicians provide more detail to their policies and secondly that journalists do their job properly and disseminate policy to show the outcomes.

What we have now is a system where politicians come up with one-sentence policies that fail to flesh out how their ideas will affect the electorate.

For example, “cut red tape for business” is certainly catchy and is easy to regurgitate by even the politicians with the lowest marks in their rhetoric class but how does that actually play out in the real world?

Does cutting red tape meaning removing environmental protections for wetlands?

Does it mean that essential workplace safety procedures are scrapped? Does cutting red tape mean developers have the right to ignore community standards?

Or does it mean cutting non-essential elements of an approval process that has little to no effect on the average citizen?

If cutting red tape means that our world will be diminished — even in a slight way — than voters have the right to know the exact details before they head to the ballot box and this is why policy messaging needs to more than a catch phrase.

Essentially, we need to ask more from our leaders — regardless of theirs or our ideology.

What we are doing by not demanding that leaders explain their ideas and policies fully is letting them treat us as not worthy of the information.

Information is currency in a democracy and we must demand in these elections that our elected and elected-hopefuls pay out.

Just because something sounds true, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require further explaining. The onus of maintaining a functioning democracy is on the electorate meaning it is on us to demand transparency and fluency from our representatives.

We cannot let people treat us as if we are unworthy of knowledge. If someone you think you might vote for offers an idea that doesn’t present all the outcomes involved — demand it from them.

The idea of an informed electorate is outside the realm of ideology. Right, left, center — we all deserve all the information in order to make an informed choice.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CORRECTED Chow down in Erskine for a great cause Sat. Mar. 23

CORRECTED Enjoy all-you-can-eat gourmet spaghetti at Erskine IOOF hall Mar. 23

Stettler County council to craft a fair physician recruitment funding policy

Council debates method used to attract physicians to Stettler

Stettler high school busy fundraising for Montreal trip

Bagging groceries get students one step closer to goal

Stettler Elementary students organized their own Poetry Slam

SES students raised close to $700 for Saving Grace Animal Society

Big Valley Byemoor Endiang News

On March 6 a team from Endiang club participated in Camrose floor curling bonspiel

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires in wake of SNC-Lavalin case

Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for the firm

Dutch tram shooting suspect arrested, say police

Police say three people were killed in the shooting Monday and five wounded

Most Read