Letter to the Editor:
The Advance was filled with letters advocating for Proportional Representation (PR) and while it appears to be an improvement on First Past the Post (FPTP), nobody seems prepared to address the elephant in the room. The person whose letter came closest was Gisela Rukert, the President of Fair Vote Canada BC.
In her letter advocating for PR, she addressed the fact that about 40% of citizens have given up on voting, one reason being that voters often end up with an MLA who doesn’t share their priorities. She elaborated further stating that MLAs listen politely and then recite from the party songbook to explain why they won’t support what’s being asked for.
This is the “elephant”, and it’s always been thus, your so-called representative is controlled by the Party, not you. Politics is about power and maintaining power and no Party is going to allow the MLA or MP to vote for their constituents wishes if they conflict with their own agenda or compromise the possibility of retaining power.
To illustrate the amount of representation available to us from those we elect, Justice E.A. Marshall ruled that an MP or MLA is not accountable to the constituents they are only accountable to parliament, you can’t make it any clearer than that. This took place in Alberta in the Wetaskiwin riding of MP Willie Littlechild when his constituents took him to court for failing to represent their clearly expressed wishes. Observation alone will inform you that the MP or MLA is only a voting pawn for the Party but it is still stunning to have that confirmed by a legal ruling. Google “Littlechild beats the GST lawsuit” if you’d like more information.
This is the crux of our political system, and people are either willfully blind to it or alternatively don’t mind having a ruling elite dictate how they will be governed without our input. Politics and the process of voting is not about you, it’s about those who govern and perpetuating the illusion that you have a say in all of this.
My point is, PR will not change this reality, the Party will ensure it maintains power under either system. Until there is meaningful representation and accountability built into the system, all these procedural changes and manipulations are nothing but window dressing.
Dan Siemens | Creston