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

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Live results for the Revelstoke municipal election

Watch here and on Facebook for live results

After being reported missing elderly woman in Revelstoke is found

Line went missing last night after experiencing symptoms of dementia. She was found alive and well this morning.

Revelstoke gets out to vote

City of Revelstoke say roughly 300 people voted this morning

Missing: Elderly woman in Revelstoke

The missing female is Alice Lines, a long-time resident of Revelstoke. She was last seen at 8 pm Friday night when she left her home.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Most Read