Strikingly undemocratic

I am going to give a rebuttal to the column, Much less democratic, Oct. 27, pg. 6, comments and point out why the “first through the gate” is strikingly undemocratic, because it is tantamount to dictatorships.
I would like to be more specific about the provincial element  of elections ‘first through the gate’ of it, because it touches us more. Regarding MP’s being more accountable.
That is what should be the case, but in fact it does not happen. Example: currently we have a NDP government most of us don’t seem to be very enchanted with it.
The protest vote against the Conservatives got them into power, which was a direct result of the “first through the gate” process. It was not a vote for them, which it turned out to be.
Recently our farmers had grievances about some labour laws, but they were made law anyway.
Where was the input of that part of the electorate? They simply were not listened to, even though they likely talked to their MP’s. The ‘first through the gate method’ is a way to railroad laws and ideas through parliament to which less than 50 per cent of the electorate agree.
The caucus determines what is wanted and the MP’s fall in line.
Think about Mr. Rathgeber, a federal Conservative, who voted against a certain proposal, did not follow the party line and hence were sidelined.
It has happened before and usually these people sit then as independents, have really nothing to contribute that anyone seems to listen to and are useless voting wise.
Regarding the no connection between the MP and the people that he or she represent” is false, in my mind, because each of the MP’s would have offices in that part of the province they represent.
You could talk to the MP of your party instead of talking to an opposition MP.
Regarding the comment, “God knows what kind of screwballs the party would be appointing as MP’s.”
Hang on. It seems to me that the Wildrose Party lost an election, in my opinion,  because of opinionated candidates.  The conservatives have had their moments, think Ft. McMurray (something to do with prostitution).
Recently the federal liberals seem to have had some problem with the fisheries minister.
There will always be people running with skeletons in their closet. How many people really know their MP personally, I think very few.
The election of possible MP’s can and will be addressed by the parties in question under the new system. It is an internal matter as it is now.
Party members would have a say.
In regards to voters having any connection with an (their?) MP and I think the MP couldn’t care less what the people think.
The main responsibility of an MP is to represent the position of the party…”.  That is exactly what is currently the case. You vote how the Whip tells you.
In regards to European countries having similar systems as basket cases such as Spain and Greece or are outright dictatorships like they have in Russia,  we need to look at the non-latino countries of Europe, such as the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and a few others.
The only country I see with a dictatorship is Russia, the others all have opposition parties (perhaps Russia has oppositions parties as well) where debate takes place and a consensus has to be reached before laws are implemented.
Alberta for that matter could be compared to Russia. Both are outright dictatorships!! That is exactly what the current “first through the gate” has delivered for at least 80 years in this province.
There have been some very good leaders; Lougheed and Ernest Manning come to mind. One could call them benevolent dictators, something Plato espouses.
These leaders had good sustaining ideas, but time and time again we see deterioration in their successors until finally it gets so bad that a protest vote throws them out.
For instance if Lougheed’s idea of putting oil money away into a fund had been kept up, Alberta would be sitting on billions of dollars like Norway, who took a page out of Lougheed’s book, implemented it and kept it up.  We would not be in the financial mess we are in now!
The Conservatives, which we overwhelmingly voted in by the “first through the gate” process blew it. No opposition would be listened to, there was just about nobody to speak, leave alone voting down the spending of that fund!
If you have an absolute majority, which is the same as a dictatorship, you are able to railroad anything you wish through.
Under the system I propose there would be mostly minority governments, where extensive debates would be necessary, all sides would be having input and then the vote would be taken.
The electorate would likely come out to vote in general elections under that system, because each vote would indeed count and result in real representation.
Enjoy sparring with you, Herman.
Frank N.T. VanderKley B.Sc. B.Ed. LL.B
Trochu, Ab.

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