Political disconnect

Premier Clark says ‘this democracy’ belongs to the citizens, but party discipline has effectively destroyed that process

Premier Christie Clark said the legislature leads to “bad ideas.” She is right about a number of things:

Politicians have to reconnect with the people. They were elected as our trustees and they should be communicating with the people on a regular basis, just like directors of private corporations communicate with their shareholders.

The most effective way to bring about that dialogue is to hold town hall meetings on a regular basis, to listen to the people, and to discuss the merits of current and new programs and issues.

Her recent decision to let the Haisla Indian Band take ownership of a swath of coastal waterfront on the Douglas Channel near Kitimat is another example of a ‘bad idea’.

A public auction could conceivably have generated millions in revenues for the government directly by means of proceeds from the sale, and indirectly by means of tax revenues from potential future land users.

The disposition of these lands could impede the development of the land and the free flow of seaborne traffic in the Douglas waterways.

She also says ‘this democracy’ belongs to the citizens, but party discipline has effectively destroyed that process.

If Clark wants to reconnect, and to re-establish the relationship with their constituents, she will have to ban party discipline and insist our MLAs get their direction from the people and vote accordingly, without living in fear of reprisals from the party and leaders.

That would be a radical departure from the dictator-style governments we have in Canada today, but nothing less will make it happen.

Andy Thomsen

 

Summerland