As we approach October 14 we have some:
Some hopeful news,
First the good news.
As Canadians we live in one of the cleanest, safest, happiest and most prosperous democracies in the world. Our success as a nation is largely the result of our democratic values – the fact that we and we alone elect our political leaders to work for us!
Now the bad news
Some political parties have started to behave as though:
“The business of the public, is not the public’s business!”
They are undermining our democratic values by adopting practices that help the party and hurt the people. Here are two examples:
First, there is a disturbing trend of political parties overriding the wishes of local riding associations, by not approving the candidates democratically selected by those associations and installing their own - party candidates. Recent examples include Mark Warner in Toronto Centre and Brent Barr in Guelph.
Second, once an MP is elected, he or she is still expected to keep the interests of the Party above the interests of the people. One of the best examples of this is Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey. Mr. Casey voted against his party on a bill that would have hurt the people in his province. As a result, he was removed from the party but fortunately continues to sit as an Independent.
Some Hopeful News
As an Independent, Mr. Casey continues to represent the needs, concerns and desires of those he represents. As such, Mr. Casey is better able to serve the democratic process.
Many of You are Asking: How Would I, As An Independent Represent You?
Once elected an MP interacts with both Parliament and with members of the riding. In Parliament an MP votes on legislation. The MP is also the “local link” between the individual and the Government.
The purpose of an Independent is respond to the riding and NOT to a party. A riding consists of large numbers of people with differing (often competing) interests. What’s an Independent to do:
- when differing parts of the riding want different things
What does it mean to respond to the riding?
It includes two things.
First – The Exercise of Sound and Independent Judgment - To use one’s best judgment on the relevant issues. Nobody can foresee what may arise over a period of four years. Few could have foreseen the economic issues we are facing today.
Therefore, the question is NOT how would an MP vote on any specific issue.
Rather the question is:
Who is this person? What are the values that would shape his judgment on a specific issue?
What are his thoughts about things like:
- health care
- carbon and possible carbon taxes
- social services
and based on an email I received yesterday,
- the rights of fathers to participate in the lives of their children
For my part, I would agree that the environment – including water – is the number one issue facing this country.
Second – Respect For All Members Of The Riding – Respect includes “listening”, “attending debates”, returning phone calls, and being generally available. An Independent must “listen” to the concerns and issues of all individuals and groups. I guarantee to listen, but I don’t guarantee that I will vote in a specific way. It’s the job of an Independent to hear and discover a wide range of concerns. These concerns are to then be factored into decisions that I as an Independent would make.
Respect means that – Everybody in the riding is entitled to be heard!
On October 14
I urge you to:
Declare your Independence by
Voting for an Independent.
I’m John Richardson, Your Independent Candidate