North Cowichan councillor Maeve Maguire. (Citizen file)

North Cowichan councillor Maeve Maguire. (Citizen file)

Lack of respectful deliberation driving good candidates away

As a municipal councillor, I have learned the only way our society will shift towards a truly collaborative government is if we elect individuals who expect fair process and will engage in respectful deliberation with those who hold opposing views. We won’t shift away from status quo oppositional governance if we continue to vote along party lines without also setting the above expectations for the individuals we elect.

Here’s why this is the most significant criterion upon which to choose who to vote for in this election: the tone and culture of our politics keeps people from running for office. For me, this is more important than party platforms, leadership style, and strategic voting. I have spoken with many community-minded, politically engaged locals who will never run for government because of the adversarial winner-takes-all culture. It is why I am voting for Sonia Furstenau.

Sonia raises the bar of governance because she understands that how we get to a solution is as important as the solution itself. She practices what I have learned above all else: the ends never justify the means. I would vote for Sonia no matter which party she represented because she is informed, true to herself, and she leads with optimism, compassion, and a wicked sense of humour. These qualities make her the rare politician who inspires my kids to serve their community. As our MLA, Sonia will be relentless in her advocacy for the Cowichan Valley and she will change the tone and culture in the legislature for all of us.

I have never been more excited to vote in a provincial election. I am grateful to each courageous candidate who stood to represent our region, but for me, this time, it’s Sonia Furstenau.

Maeve Maguire

Councillor, Municipality of North Cowichan