EDITORIAL: Politics of distraction

There are so many avenues now for an information overload that can beguile us from what is important in our own lives

We live in an age of distraction and deflection.

There are so many avenues now – including not only mainstream news sources but also phone apps and social media – for an information overload that can beguile us from what is important in our own lives.

And there are so many – in business, in marketing and, yes, in politics – who count on that diverted attention.

Many of us in Canada, no matter our political leanings, rightfully view the tensions around the world with serious interest, if not outright alarm. But we must remind ourselves that an external focus, while justified, may serve as a diversion from what is also important at home.

While Canadians are distracted by the sideshow down south, the federal Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is pushing the year-and-a-half mark of its mandate. So are Surrey’s members of Parliament: Conservative Dianne Watts (South Surrey-White Rock) and Liberals Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey-Newton), John Aldag (Cloverdale-Langley City), Ken Hardie (Fleetwood-Port Kells) and Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre). At the same time, candidates are vying for leadership of the Conservative party – a choice that will prove crucial, no matter where you stand politically, by the time of the next federal election in October 2019.

B.C. provincial politicians are preparing to go to the hustings this May, while in Surrey and White Rock, mayors and council are due to take their chances at the polls late next year.

It’s time to ask ourselves whether the actions of these politicians truly represent our interests. While we may feel powerless to affect the course of history on an international level, all of our Canadian representatives depend on our votes to continue in office.

Incumbents’ political machines rely on an electorate that shrugs or dozes its way through most of a politician’s term, only to be roused a month or two before the polling stations open. We should keep a close watch – and a tally – long before that point is reached.

Do you feel that your representatives have been listening and that they are accomplishing something on behalf of the communities they serve? If not, are there others who have acted in a way that better represents you?

If you have no answers, it’s time to give as much attention to those who seek to serve you as so many of us give beyond our borders.