Three wishes for the new year

These social justice issues need to be addressed in 2013.

I think it was former premier Mike Harcourt who once said that the NDP are “guests in power” in B.C. This is an accurate reflection of the political climate in the province as the right-of-centre parties usually have the media, business, and big money behind them to hold onto power indefinitely.

Below are three wishes for the new year that a future NDP government can legislate to help level the electoral landscape.

Wish number one: Lower the voting age to 15.

If youth are old enough to work and pay taxes, they should be entitled to vote. Youth are also a huge disenfranchised segment of the population that are becoming politically mobile and demanding more rights. It’s time for the elected officials to listen to them. Many youth are front and centre on many social issues whether it relates to arts, culture, sports, the environment, education, and labour and employment policies. I am willing to bet that the younger population is more likely to be progressive in their voting intentions in comparison to the older population which tends to tilt a bit conservative.

Wish number two: Make it a civic duty or compulsory to vote in B.C.

Another huge disenfranchised population is the marginalized, poor, and homeless. If it was necessary to ensure they voted, then their voices would more likely be heard in the halls of power. They would essentially become a powerful voting block that is growing in numbers during these recessionary times. The well-off and rich have no problem with voter turnout. This compulsory voting policy would essentially level the playing field between the rich and poor on both ends of the voting demographic.

Wish number three: Ensure gender equality in the B.C. legislature by cutting the number of ridings in half and electing one man and one woman from each riding.

The number of total MLAs would stay the same. Not only is this ethically the right thing to do in terms of women’s rights, it would be democratic.

There you go – three simple wishes for the new year.  Hopefully, our public officials will implement these policies based on principle and not worry about populist sentiment or backlash since they all are social justice issues that need to be addressed after a long history of neglect.


Alex Sangha, Delta

Just Posted

White Rock RCMP seeking information about Aug. 16 assault

Man in 60s was injured around same time Paul Prestbakmo was stabbed to death

New recovery house rules, increased funding aim to prevent overdose tragedy

Changes ‘speak to issues’ highlighted by death of South Surrey’s Zachary Plett

Police hope to speak with witnesses from fatal 2017 stabbing in Surrey

Wally Rogers was stabbed outside his home near 88th Avenue and 144th Street on July 8, 2017

Surrey RCMP say municipal force approval a ‘challenging time’ for detachment

Province green lit the plan, joint committee for transition to be established

Police watchdog seeking witnesses in officer-involved Surrey shooting

This is the fourth incident within a one-week period that IIO is investigating

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read