British Columbia has earned a reputation for its tumultuous politics and recent events are doing nothing to temper that view. Well,
it turns out that one in four of us in B.C. actually considers him or
herself an “activist.” And activists can cause a lot of distress for
politicians — and anyone else who tries to tell them what to do. But
politicians and business leaders are starting to learn that it’s all
about consultation. If they want to put up a 50-storey building, or just
five street lamps, they have to talk to the public first.
What’s precipitated this change? The Internet, of course. There
was a time when the sphere of influence for the average person’s
opinion was limited to the water cooler, dinner table, coffee shop or
bar and, from time to time, a letter to the editor. But now, with
the proliferation of blogs, website polls and social networking sites,
people can literally broadcast their opinions any time — and do it
freely. And they’re having a huge influence on the shape of our
communities and our province.
Read more of Evi Mustel’s guest column in the Province here