CFN – Here in Cornwall Bernadette Clement announced that she will be attempting to be the candidate for MP in the 2015 election.
There’s been a lot of chatter, but one question that keeps coming up is whether an Independent candidate could win and whether more should run?
As some know I personally have given up on partisan politics. I think they hurt society. I’m not against parties per se, but for me personally I go one election at a time and will vote with my conscious as to who I feel will serve the best regardless of their colors.
The problem many have in Canadian politics is that you may like a leader but their local candidate blows chunks or vice versa. That’s a quandary.
Some say that by only being part of the party in power can a riding gain anything, but that clearly isn’t true gauging the lack of success of our current MP Guy Lauzon whose loyalties are clearly and deeply more entrenched with his leader, Stephen Harper, than any issue locally. All one had to do was watch his impotent handling of the Chem tank issue in Cornwall to see that. After all he is the man whose claim to fame was coming to Cornwall to shut down an government office and then take the golden parachute himself.
You meet people in the street who will vote their party no matter how bad the candidate or platform. That amazes me. It really does.
an MP has many job descriptions, including legislator, negotiator, ombudsman, policy analyst, public speaker, and diplomat
MPs act as ombudsmen for their constituents, helping them to get visas or passports, or to solve problems concerning immigration, employment insurance, pensions or income tax.
Some Members from large or densely populated constituencies have more than one office. Their time in the constituency gives them a chance to hear their constituents’ ideas and plans and to help with their problems.
Work in the constituency also involves social and political obligations. MPs must attend various activities, from celebrations and funerals to community meetings and opening ceremonies. They usually take the opportunity to speak to local news media while in the constituency as well.
“You have to love people and have an iron constitution to effectively meet the demands of the constituency office,” one veteran MP confessed.
Clearly Mr. Lauzon has failed, especially with the section in red. His current government has had a majority for awhile now and our MP has not brought the bacon home to this riding either.
So if the role of an MP is to represent their constituents partisan politics can actually be a hindrance to doing so especially if you don’t belong or financially support the party of your MP. (sometimes even if you do!)
While a MP clearly can lose out on personal perks and cash for being in caucus or serving on committees clearly an independent can focus more on local issues and helping their community without the ties of their party. Likewise in a majority government situation being an MP for the opposition in a riding is muted while being an MP of any stripe in a minority government can have added value come potential deal times.
One of Canada’s most successful Independent MP’s was Andre Arthur from 2006-2011 in Quebec. King Arthur not only won once, but was re-elected after the Harper Government decided not to run a candidate against him. He was a victim of the NDP Orange Crush.
While there are pros and cons to having an Independent candidate or being one in this day and age it certainly is something to chew on for many Canadians who are becoming disenfranchised with Partisan politics.
Would you support an Independent in your riding? You can post your comments below.