Former NDP candidate says party doesn’t represent constituents

Editor,

Re: NDP leader Layton visits riding to support Shmigelsky, Jan. 26

So, after eight years as Leader of the NDP, Jack Layton has finally set foot in the riding of Kootenay-Columbia. The special occasion? Aside from political opportunism, Jack was here to endorse newly nominated NDP candidate Mark Shmigelsky, a good municipal politician who promises to be your “voice” in Ottawa.

The reality of course, may be somewhat different.

In the spring of 2006, as president of the Kootenay-Columbia NDP Riding Association, I wrote Jack asking him to allow MPs to vote the wishes of their constituents on the long gun registry. In addition to offering the usual NDP spin about “fixing” the registry, Mr. Layton’s reply contained a revealing statement about how much “voice” NDP MPs really have in representing their constituents.

“Thanks again for registering your views on allowing MPs to vote according to the wishes of their constituents as opposed to espousing the policies and platform of the NDP as established at our national conventions.” (July 27th, 2006)

NDP Leader Jack Layton is saying that the policies of the Party are more important than the expressed wishes of the electorate! Whatever happened to MPs representing the people instead of a political Party? Canada’s party based political system, federally and provincially, is failing to “represent” the very constituents it claims to serve. The people have lost their voice.   

So if you think NDP candidate Mark Shmigelsky offers new hope to represent your concerns in Ottawa, you may want to consider the words of his boss and chief party whip, Jack Layton.

Brent Bush,

Kimberley