In the end, for me, it comes down to ethics, integrity and principles.
As I wrote before on this Blog, I happen to live/vote in Vancouver Granville … the riding represented by former Liberal Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.
I voted for her when she ran as a Liberal in the last election … not that I knew and supported her personally, but I had tired of Conservative PM Stephen Harper’s dictatorial style, disdain for holding press conferences, silencing of public officials and, even during the election campaign, his own refusal to take or answer more than minimal questions.
It was time for a change.
Some believe it’s that time again; others disagree; some support other parties … all good reasons to vote for whoever YOU decide is most worthy.
And I have to say … as an independent voter … I found policies/messages I could support and also policies/messages I would oppose offered up by ALL the parties … making my choice this time much more difficult.
But in Vancouver-Granville, there has also been a very different calculation to consider.
Jody Wilson-Raybould is running as an Independent … after being trashed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals for refusing to interfere in the Court case facing the huge corporation, Quebec-based SNC Lavalin.
As I wrote in August, I had concerns, though, about voting for an Independent in a close election and also wondered, based on Wilson-Raybould’s own repeated and seemingly constant emphasis of her First Nations background/interests, whether she would be a one-issue MP … neglecting the rest of us in her riding.
You can read that piece here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/jody-wilson-raybould-is-a-hero-but-i-still-may-not-vote-for-her/
Perhaps she or her strategists read that piece, because since then, Wilson-Raybould … and her campaign … have repeatedly emphasized other issues of concern in Vancouver-Granville as well: cost of living; the economy; fairer taxes; affordable housing; climate change; health care and support for a pharmacare program.
And then, there’s the “hero” factor.
Because Jody Wilson-Raybould had done something I witnessed VERY RARELY in my 38 years of reporting and covering politics at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels: she stood up on principle against power and pressure … even at the cost of her own appointed position.
No one should under-estimate how remarkable that is for someone who pursues a calling and a career in politics … especially at a senior federal Cabinet post … forsaking all the perks and privileges that go with that.
Standing up ON PRINCIPLE against a Prime Minister!
It goes much beyond sacrificing just the extra pay, the larger offices … both on Parliament Hill and at departmental HQ … the prestige, the car/driver, deferential treatment by many of those around her.
Wilson-Raybould also gave up her role participating at one of the highest appointed positions in Canadian politics.
People who have read my writings on this Blog know how high I price I paid in my own career … standing up for others, for fairness, for workers’ rights and dignity … against bullies and injustices.
Never regretted doing that for a minute! Because, in the end, principles are MUCH more important than perks.
So Wilson-Raybould has my vote.
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