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

Lacombe Corn Maze celebrates 20 years in central Alberta

Kraay Family Farms will be celebrating the occasion all season

Buccaneers pillage Irish 36-0

Central Alberta bounces back after off week against Wolfpack

Lacombe business drives home with CARS Magazine 2019 Shop of the Year Award

Lacombe Auto Service Centre Ltd. looking to keep evolving with industry

Lacombe’s Chairs for Charity is back for second year

75 chairs to be auctioned off in hopes of raising $10,000

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

WATCH: Lacombe AUPE members picket against Bill 9

Union members say their constitutional rights have been ignored

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Bashaw seed cleaning plant holds official opening

New facility operating well since January

Most Read