Opinion: STOP Giving Politicians A Platform At Community Events!

Miramichi is a diverse community. We share our city with people that come from all different cultural backgrounds, spoken languages, religions, poltical beliefs etc.

So why are politicians taking front and centre at community events?

Events like Irish Festival, Miramichi Pride, Rock N’ Roll Festival, etc. are all about the community coming together to either support a cause, celebrate culture, or just have a great time!

The majority of festivals and events that take place in Miramichi are all done by volunteers.

Not politicians.

Perhaps the Irish Festival would of saved a lot of headache if it kept its focus on what the event was about rather than make it a pre New Brunswick Day celebration that the Liberal Government gave $25,000 towards.

Don’t get me wrong, all levels of government dignitaries should be invited to come and join in. Their presence of support should be welcome. Thats it.

The moment we start giving politicians a microphone is when we hear the same campaign-ish type speech.

The moment event coordinators forget to send a invitation, or acknowledge all politicians in the area it turns into leaving members of the community scratching their heads.

MLA Jake Stewart posted to Facebook a lengthy statement on what happened to him and his representative at the Irish Festival.

I won’t share the post because I don’t want to distract from the message I’m trying to send. Community events/festivals are about the members of the community, not politics.

Stewart’s message was a explanation to the members of his riding why his presence was absent from the festival.

After receiving no invitation via email, but assured it was in the mail, Stewart sent a representative in his place as he was volunteering.

The representative was not placed in line with provincial dignitaries, told to sit off stage, and not acknowledged.

Was Jake Stewart purposely snubbed?

Who really knows. Some say it was a simple oversight, others have said the representative didn’t want to sit on stage.

Social media circulated many theory’s.

Now, I don’t agree with the entire statement he made, however I do believe “poltics has no place in a festival, none at all.”

Another example of politicians using a community event platform was at yesterday’s Miramichi Pride Flag Raising Cermony at Queen Elizabeth Park in Newcastle.

It turned out to be a great event, with the largest crowd ever!

However, politics yet again took front and centre with dignitaries getting on the microphone to campaign to the public how supportive they are of the LGBT+ community.

If you are a ally, be a ally. 

March with us. Stand with us when we are in need. Volunteer your time to help with events.

As we are a community of people that have different poltical beliefs it would only seem fair to include all politicians at events, but as a supporting presence nothing more.

The moment we give a microphone to one politician is the moment we might as well let them all take a turn because it wouldn’t be fair to let one poltician of any level of government, representing any poltical party speak and not another.

If they want to support a community festival or event they need to put down the microphone, & stop with the photo ops!

Talk to the people, eat the food, drink, enjoy the event, and leave politics at the door.

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Categories: Opinion

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