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LOEWEN: 2014 Election: Is any publicity good publicity?

Image Credit: Contributed/Jeffrey Loewen
October 08, 2014 - 7:35 AM

In popular Canadian song, Randy Bachman suggests that “any loving’s good loving.” And in a similar vein, some lone voice in the wilderness came up with the oft-repeated cliché that “any publicity is good publicity.”

Now, while there may be some iota of conflicted-truth to the former sentiment – especially if you’re extremely desperate – I have often wondered about the truth of the latter truism. Especially when the publicity is overwhelmingly negative.

It is therefore with some trepidation that I will shine light upon a dark, dank corner of the political landscape occupied by one of Kelowna’s colourful candidates for election to city council in the coming weeks.

I am fearful that any additional exposure of this candidate will counter-productively appeal to some misguided voters out there; but, as a public service, your indefatigable scribe contends that the truth will win out, and eligible voters need to know a few things before casting their ballots.

My editor, Marshall Jones, reminded us last week about the checkered history of Dayleen Van Ryswyk, the NDP’s uncontested nominee for Kelowna-Mission in the last provincial election. After her history of First-Nations-baiting, questionable grasp of history, and vituperative remarks aimed at the Province caught the attention of the provincial New Democrats, her candidacy on their behalf was jettisoned quicker than most voters could have articulated Our Dayleen’s name. And with good reason.

The majority of her views were anathema to those of the NDP to begin with, and one wonders how the provincial party allowed her candidacy to stand originally. (But that’s a column for another day, one that will tackle the ineptitude of the provincial New Democrats…).

But that didn’t stop Our Dayleen from continuing her bull-headed run as an independent and even garnering a surprising 1100+ votes in her well-heeled, nominally-“educated,” Kelowna riding. Not enough to win, mind you; but obviously enough encouragement to have her cross the bridge to run against Our Christy in the last provincial by-election.
Undaunted by her history of defeat, Our Dayleen has decided that Kelowna now needs Our Dayleen to “bring back the people’s voice” to City Hall

At the same time, many voters may not be aware that her odious preoccupation with our First Nations peoples appears be an issue that she wants voters to know about through her “Links” section on her campaign website.

She writes, “I thought long and hard, as to whether I should even touch on this subject during the municipal election. Since this isn't part of my platform, or a municipal election issue per say (sic).”

The “subject” to which she refers is what has been called “Race-Based laws” in relation to our First Nations brothers and sisters. What follows on her links page (probably the most information-rich corner of her campaign site) is a long list of links to articles that will obfuscate the highly complex issues surrounding our country’s treatment of its First Nations people, and speak to the disenfranchised base-of-support out there that is anti-historical (not unlike Our Dayleen) and sick and tired of what they perceive to be the ongoing burden to financially support our First Nations citizens.

Of course, these issues have absolutely nothing to do with the matters of municipal politics where the much-less-glamourous, issues usually cluster around the basics of running the city.

So the question arises: Why, oh why, would Our Dayleen put so much emphasis on our relationship to our First Nations citizens? Could it be that she senses a groundswell of support from the political hinterland, from the reactionary quarters of the spectrum? Does she feel that her stated platform is not provocative enough to garner voter-support in the coming municipal election and that by exposing the fetid underbelly of voter resentiment and bad faith she will bring fellow-travelers to the ballot boxes to support her bid?

Our Dayleen has been busy on the internet, of course, currying favour with a group called “End Race-Based Laws” which can only be described as agents provocateurs and, more specifically, hate-mongers and bullies. It has even been suggested that she may be vying to take over the leadership of the group from its founder, Michele “Canada” Tittler. Whatever the case may be, these are not sentiments that I think anyone in our community wants to be publicly associated with. There are enough clowns around town; we don’t need this kind of negative publicity.

My hope is that Kelowna voters will clamour to the ballot booths this time around, armed with knowledge about whom they wish to see in City Hall and denounce folks like Our Dayleen. Her disingenuous appeals to “the people” don’t include all of us by the looks of things.

And anybody who says shite like, “If their (First Nations) ancestors sold out too cheap, it’s not my fault and I shouldn’t be paying for any mistake” deserves a public rebuke and an admonition to go back to school and get a little learnin’ under that gorgeous helmet of hair before wading out into the electoral waters in the future.

—  Having lost his 2,500 volume library in the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, Jeffrey is beginning to fill the void by writing his own. Reach him at jeff.loewen(at)gmail.com

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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