A vast majority of voters in the Battlefords and area support conservative representatives provincially and federally. That right-wing support is well established. On the municipal level, however, it seems residents have a more left-wing view of how government should be conducted. This is reflected in the ongoing hue and cry for the municipal government to “do something” about crime.
In fundamental political ideology right wing ideals favour a minimum of government involvement in the lives of citizens. Left-leaning ideology is more paternalistic, seeing the government’s role as one of “looking after” citizens, supporting spending on social programs and universal health care, for example.
Of course, in reality, modern politics is more centrist, serving up a mixture of right-wing and left-wing policies in order to appeal to the greatest number of voters. It’s also true, however, that the continued call for the municipal, and in some cases provincial, leaders to solve the problems in the Battlefords is a left-wing stance.
A true right-wing populace would take its own action. That could be extreme, as the concept of vigilantism springs to mind. But the push to get more citizens involved in Citizens on Patrol is one example of individuals taking charge of the situation.
Former News-Optimisteditor, Reg Sylvester, often opined that the way to take back the streets from the criminal element is to leave the comfort of our homes and big screen TVs and be out in the streets. When you think about it, that defines what Citizens on Patrol is all about.
So, while calling for civic leaders to take action against crime in a right-wing leaning community such as the Battlefords, it would be true to political leanings to take individual action as well.