Democracy continues after elections

The democratic process between elections cannot be taken for granted

MLA Report, by Norm Macdonald

As someone who has lived in a part of the world where the government was not chosen democratically, I have a particular perspective on just how precious democracy is. And having seen first-hand how it is to live in a country where citizens cannot make decisions for themselves, I feel passionately that British Columbians must fight every time their opportunity to participate is diminished.

Free and fair elections are the most obvious instrument of participation in a democracy, and it is certainly the responsibility of citizens to vote, but the process between elections cannot be taken for granted. Citizens must continue to engage with their elected representatives, and they must take every opportunity to be involved.

But citizen engagement falls on deaf ears without elected representatives who understand their role as servants to the people they represent. It is not acceptable for elected representatives to behave as if their only responsibility is to get the majority of votes on election day.

Democracy does not mean handing over decision-making to a small group of individuals far away from the place where those decisions will have the greatest impact. A democratic system is based on the idea that the best decisions are made by citizens.

And my experience as both a mayor and MLA bears that out.

You told me that the HST was not the best thing the government could do to improve the economy.  You told me that private river-diversion projects (IPPs) would put the economic viability of BC Hydro at risk.

And time has proven you right. The HST has been a failure and IPPs have resulted in massive debt for BC Hydro.

Ignoring what the people of British Columbia clearly stated will have long-term negative consequences for all of us. The BC Liberals would not listen.

British Columbians are saying clearly that they want a government that respects the role of citizens in decision-making. They want a government that believes the people should have the final say.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for the riding of Columbia River–Revelstoke.

 

Just Posted

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, December 16, 1893 There were about 200… Continue reading

Avalanche control scheduled today on Highway 1 east and west of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled today for two different locations along Highway… Continue reading

Revy let’s talk: Christmas cheer, or not

It’s Christmas time in Revelstoke. It’s a time of celebration, lights are… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from east of Sicamous to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

UPDATED: Absolute discharge for mischief charge against Sagmoen

Trial starts at 9:30 a.m. in Vernon Law Courts

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Update: BC RCMP confirm multiple businesses received email threats throughout province

Police Dog Service on scene at Penticton Honda and Penticton Hyundai

West Kelowna student finalist for $100,000 scholarship

Nhi Dao, Grade 12 Mouch Boucherie Secondary student, cited for her community service

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Okanagan Symphony presents Yuletide Tales

Christmas concert features three classic Christmas stories

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

Activists protest at Shuswap pig abattoir

Incident at meat processing plant under investigation by Salmon Arm RCMP

Giving the gift of nature

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Most Read