“We can disagree on the laws that are passed, and we often do, but the foundation of our society is that once a law is passed, that we agree to obey it. We do not get to obey the laws that we like and disobey the laws that we don’t like, and that is the central issue here.”

Fellow residents of British Columbia likely already know that Premier Gordon Campbell stepped down from his position as leader of the province earlier this month. This comes after more than nine years of holding the post. However, that’s not really the point of today’s post.

Instead, we’re taking a look at a quote that Campbell gave in a statement way back in 2005. The original subject matter was in regards to the BC Teachers Federation, but the core message behind this snippet is perhaps even more noteworthy than the original context. In it, the (soon to be former) Premier reiterates a doctrine that has been expressed by others in the past.

In order to live in a land, you should obey the laws of the land. This is true of everything from copyright infringement to parking violations. You can’t pick and choose which laws you want to obey; if everyone did that, the laws would no longer hold any meaning and our society could easily fall into anarchy. The very integrity of our civilization relies on people observing the laws of the land.

This does not mean that you can’t disagree with said laws. In fact, that’s the very point of democracy. We are going to disagree. Not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time. That’s the very nature of society. However, if a law is in place, for better or for worse, you need to respect it. You absolutely have recourse, though, to try and change that law. Again, that is the point of democracy; allow your voice to be heard and enact change. If you don’t like it, speak up.

Moving forward, I’m not really sure what will happen in British Columbia politics. On the one hand, it’s possible that the NDP already have the next election in the bag, riding on the negative reputation that Campbell has developed. On the other hand, the BC Liberals do have some time to rebuild and they could very much elect a leader who brings the party back to its former respectability.

If Gordon Campbell, a former Mayor of Vancouver, can lead a province for almost ten years, then maybe Vancouver’s Barack Obama can one day do the same. Politics being what they are, you never know what can happen. Delaware almost voted a witch (she’s not really a witch) into office, after all.