I have been a student, participant, and observer of politics all of my adult life. To me, candidates running for office should have two qualities: a positive attitude about government and a vision with a broad base of support to see that vision become a reality.
Campaigns and an election are nothing more than individuals applying for work. In this case elected office. The ones who do the hiring are the voting public.
I certainly would think twice about hiring an individual who castigates the very employer he or she is seeking employment from. Likewise, I have never understood a so-called populist or selfappointed citizen advocate who rails against government only to turn around and ask to be a part of such government. It sounds like the old Ronald Reagan line, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." The same government who educates our children, maintains our streets and parks and a myriad of other services people tend to forget about come election time.
Last month, I wrote a viewpoint piece about train noise and condos in the Quayside neighbourhood for this paper. Never mentioned any names but one mayoral candidate took exception to the piece and wrote a long response - a diatribe if you will - against me personally as a citizen and resident and questioned my motives rather than address the issue at hand: noise at the Quay.
He even went as far as to say I was wrong in stating that railroads don't pay property taxes. According to the City of New Westminster, railroads - like all other property owners - pay property taxes. In this case $200,000 annually. Now, I don't expect a candidate to know every answer, but for a candidate not to know this, let alone not put in a call to the city to find out the answer, is amazing.
This same candidate was quoted earlier this year that after they get rid of the trains the trucks on Columbia/Stewardson Way are next. To me, it sounds like this person is anti-business and anti-worker because he wants peace and quiet next to his condo.
Lastly, if a candidate attacked me personally rather than say, "Well, Scott, it looks like we have a different point of view, but I respect your view," I'd think twice about voting for them.
Scott Larsen, New Westminster