Sunday, July 19, 2009

A dissident hero speaks for democracy

Not in China or Iran, but in Alberta, where a Conservative MLA has decided to put his constituents ahead of his party.
Party discipline is part of our system. Members of a party are supposed to share some broad principles and policies.
But they are not supposed to be robotic public boosters of their bosses reciting talking points written by staffers at the direction of the leader. They should not stand foolishly silent when government actions damage their own communities. (For example, like Liberal cabinet ministers Murray Coell and Ida Chong, when their government enriched a forest company while opening vast amounts of green space and protected land for development.)
Our system was based on MPs and MLAs having the power to dump a distant or inattentive leader; they have abandoned that power and chosen docility.
Except for this guy.


Anonymous said...

Where was this kind of concern when Michael Sather was suspended from the NDP ?

paul said...

Fair comment, anon. Sather did not challenge the party's support for treaties; he raised specific concerns about how the Tsawwassen treaty would affect the majority of his constituents and the province, especially around the loss of agricultural land as part of the treaty agreement.
That's his job; his suspension from caucus did a disservice to him and the people who elected him.
I didn't write about it. I do two columns a week and there were bigger issues. And my blogging is wildly variable. Often, I just post columns.
Good point, though.

paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Pray tell, Anon-o-PABbot, just how much ministerial power did the mumbling Mr. Sather wield?

DPL said...

Sather had concerns and he wasn't the only ones in the Caucus with concerns. James tossed him out for awhile and the weak person was her not him. He was doing his job and she was backing Gordo on the removal of ALR land with no conditions, and breaking long standing NDP policy and the treaty policy while she was at it. Her weak. "Don't do it again Gordon" must have really sent shiver down his spine. The land was immediatly leased to park port stuff on, it sure wasn't to increase the housing on the reserve.

Anonymous said...

I believe a much more relevant case for BC is the removal of Paul Nettelton from the BC Liberal caucus for disagreeing with the deal to sell BC Rail and break-up or privatize BC Hydro.
Where is Nettleton now? Has he paid the price for disagreeing with Campbell?