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

What is wilderness?

A few years ago I asked a question on my Facebook page,… Continue reading

Glimpses of our past for Feb. 20

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, Feb. 24, 1894 A concert entertainment was… Continue reading

Stoked on Science: Deep in the Polar Vortex

Jade Harvey Special to the Review Sounds like science fiction doesn’t it?… Continue reading

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Missing hiker not seen by rescuers after team rescues friend near Vancouver

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Interior Health on high alert for possible measles cases

No reports of the disease yet, but regular travel to the Coast could bring measles to the Interior

Most Read