President Thomas Jefferson once stated that once a man casts a longing eye on political office, a rottenness begins in his conduct. For the most part, I would have a difficult time to refute that.
However, the action of at least one Member of Parliament shines a light in the darkness. Michael Chong, a federal Conservative MP from Ontario, was recently voted the Best Constituency Representative by his peers, the other MPs. Impressive.
Why do the other MPs admire/respect Mr. Chong so much? It’s because he actually represents his constituents. On each major policy issue, Mr. Chong consults with his riding. He knows exactly the feelings of the people he represents, and votes accordingly.
Mr. Chong will vote against his own party’s proposal if he believes that the motion is contrary to the wishes of the people he represents, and he has done so. Imagine! An honest and ethical member who actually represents the people. I applaud his courage and integrity — and this honour is well-deserved.
This begs the question: If the other MPs respect and admire Mr. Chong so much, why do they not act in the same manner? Do they lack the fortitude and honour to stand up for democracy, or have they sacrificed their personal integrity to the will of their party?
Personally, if I had an MP representing me in this manner I would certainly vote to re-elect, even if that MP was thrown out of caucus and had to sit as an independent member. But that’s the way it was meant to be. Maybe we should have all independent MPs.
It’s about time all MPs were reminded for whom they work, and held to the high standard displayed by Mr. Chong. My greatest respect to a truly honourable member.