Would You Vote for an Independent Candidate for MP? by Jamie Gilcig – MARCH 29, 2015

jg2CFN –  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.

Would you support an Independent Candidate for MP?

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  1. For me it would depend on whom the person was.

  2. Nope. Under our current seriously flawed party system, an independent MP has zero influence in parliament. I choose the least offensive party, hold my nose, and vote. Then I sit back and watch the Conservative candidate win my riding.

  3. After all the reading that I have done on this subject and so many others I have read that no independent candidate in the US has ever won an election. Everything is based on the party system. I am a conservative person in my own right meaning that I live by a certain standards and I stand firm on my beliefs and I support the Cons good or bad. I am an old school person and I do not bend to anything of liberal/fiberal at all. NDP is a complete waste of time since Wall Street/Bay Street will not accept socialism and when people vote NDP the votes are divided between the Cons and the Fiberals so I learned that lesson.

  4. In order for an independent candidate to have significant influence in the house our system would need to change. It is my belief that first we must modify our existing system to better reflex our current needs. In order to start the ball rolling in the right direction, it is my opinion that first the senate must be revise and changed to an elected body and no longer be a favor based appointment system. It should also become a non partisan body of checks and balances, allowing representatives to vote on matters based on constituents needs and wants, not party lines. Secondly, an additional box shoukd be added to the ballot. One named, none of the above. This would give voters the ability to tell parties and candidates wether the voting public agrees with the choices presented to them. Under our current voting system, the only option a voter has to make such a statement is to scratch their ballot. However, that statement gets balled into the same category as the drunkard who cant make a proper x. Its time for people to take back their voice and tell the present or futur government who they truely want. And lastly, all political contributions should be made to elections canada and then dispersed accordingly to parties and members accordingly based on a preset criteria that the majority of canadians can agree upon. This would eliminate (at least to some degree) the idea of our current real political system, the corportacracy (spell?) And the grand illusion of democracy. Until such time, we will continue to vote for the person and party that screams change the loudest without ever having to be accountable to its plan or promisses as we have seen time after time and will continue to see.

  5. Good ideas AL Charb. But do you think this would ever happen?

  6. Do I think it will happen ~ hell no. Could the canadian public make it happen if we wanted it to. Better believe it. I have witnessed men wear high heel shoes to take back the night, women burn bras to take back their rights, but now a days, most people fights last as long as it takes to pour ice water on their heads, so im not gonna hold my breath.

  7. I usually stop reading after about three lines unless it’s really good. In this case, I stopped reading after three lines.

  8. Al Charb I was really going to do like someone did when I worked in the federal government and someone sent in an application for a refund and got so upset that they put a huge line through the application and wrote “CHICKEN S—” and this is a way of spoiling the ballot. I agree fully with you that the senate should be elected by the people and not political appointements – we have seen the damage done by the parties as it stands.

  9. Hugger do you want real change? Well if you do it has to start somewhere and Al Charb came up with good points. These political parties are the problem and have to be done away with somehow. When you really think about it the Cons are not conservative at all but both the Cons and the Fibs are “corporatists” – they work for the big corporations and that is why you will not see the NDP in power because they are socialist.

  10. Yes Al has some good ideas. But they’ll never fly, as detailed in A L’Amour response.

  11. Jules, I must say I like the chicken idea or anything of that kind. But the scatch tag must be uniform across the country in order to make a statement. Also, hugger, I do believe we must keep party lines. However those lines which were very clear in their ideologies have now bled into each other for vote count on election day and become near non existent throughout the term, influenced greatly by campaign contributions. A very astute local political figure head once taught me the most valuable political lesson years ago. He corrected me after I made the statement “its not what you know, but who you know.” His response was, “its not who you know, but who know you that matters.” The reality is that power goes to those who are best known by the house members and those persons are those who pay the largest dollars in political contributions. The larger the dollars and the more frequent they come in will ensure the lions share of the mps ear. Who do you think holds more influence, the voter who does his civic duty, the supporter who works to get the candidate elected, the minor financial contributor or someone like paul demerais, one of canadas richest men? A true democratic system is based on the simple premises of one voice, one vote! Not so in todays political environment. So in the end, whether you side with the left or right or even sit smack dab in the middle, your voice pales to the sound of a large check clearing. Its not that the politicians are bad, but that the system leverages the decision makers to the wealthy, leaving the other 99%, with nothing more than the illusion of choice. Which in turn destroys the reality of change. Again, just my opinion!

  12. Then the corporations are in bed with the government it is called “fascist” and if you look at the back of Nancy Pelosi in the US you will see a bundle of brown sticks tied together and that is called “fasci” and I used to see that on the US 10 cent piece in past years. It is all fascist our Canada, the US, etc. If you think that we are a democracy think again folks.

  13. Jules, are you suggesting that our economic masters are controlling our political masters? Say it ain’t so.

  14. Furtz you read me right – yes our economic 1% masters are controlling our government and that is the honest to God’s truth. That system works everywhere and there isn’t a country that isn’t operated in that way or very similar – some even worse. Paul Desmarais’ son André married Jean Chrétien’s daughter. Now how is that for strange bedfellows. Need I say more. I can say a lot but I will stop here for now. The things that I know would shock the sheeple. The 1% select and dominate the government and we the fleeced sheeple go to the polls like robots thinking that the clown that we elect represents us HUH where did that come from? God Almighty the sheeple out there have to wake up something awful. It doesn’t matter which clown gets in because they are owned and controlled by the banksters and big corporations.

  15. One voice, one vote.

    Ultimately the votes are tallied and their cumulative effect is announced. The shear number of votes of the wealthy drown in the sea of the general population. So the outcome is attributed to influence from the wealthy over the 99% who cast their vote. How is this accomplished? Socialism places wealth into the hands of the masses from the top down, sound familiar? Does membership affect how individuals vote? Teachers unions, trade unions, auto workers, iron and steel, locomotive, professional associations are examples of the delivery systems of influence by powerful sculptures of wealth. So you are slightly off I think Al Charb in that there is no illusion, it is reality. And the reality is that we are easily influenced and thereby controlled, if you will, by our very own greed. True change cannot effectively come about until the greed is replaced by a common need. That is my opinion.

  16. So Jules if you are suggesting that socialism is an illusion of democracy than we are 100% in agreement. When people are manipulated like pawns on a chess board then freedom is an illusion. Power and greed, how complicated yet transparent are we?

  17. Mr oldham, I will agree with you that the voter system does in fact choose its memebers in the house. But if you think or believe its what we see as canadians in front of our eyes that reflect our political system your are seriously kidding yourself. Like wrestling, its the men behind the curtain, the behind the scenes deals, the influence of the wealthy on policy that is the reality and the hidden monster in todays polical environment. And before any change can be made, this must be exposed and eliminated. And the illusion I mention was that. But hey, like the song says dave, “dont stop believing.”

  18. Jules, if you don’t like our society works here in Canada feel free to leave. I’m sure the communists would welcome you with open arms.

  19. Yes it is an illusion. Mr. Oldham I don’t know if you read the book (a very old one from the 50’s era) called “PAWNS IN THE GAME” by William Guy Carr a Canadian who was in the Canadian Navy and you will find the book in PDF format on the net. Please read it everyone and you will awaken to some things that you never knew about and are 100% true. This is a very well known book folks. Mr. Oldham you just came up with pawns on the chess board and that is exactly what it is.

  20. Mr. Oldham we are not a democratic country and we are living under socialism. Socialism is communism but using another name but just not quite as harsh as communism. Canada is not free at all and I would say the same for most of the world if not all. The US is not free either and I will tell you why. Republic? The US lost their freedom back in 1789 when (they won the war against England but they lost against the bankers). George Washington made a change in the US Constitution where the bankers are in charge and everyone has to pay the hefty taxes to England and most Yanks don’t know that they are a Crown Corporation like the rest of us. We do not have freedom – we are a Crown Corporation under the Bankers and the queen is a symbol and she too answers to the bankers which I call banksters as in gangsters which they all are.

  21. I love reading Jules’ ramblings. So far from reality it might make a good (but boring) book.

    Airplanes are waiting if you don’t like how our society works.

  22. Hugger, every now and then Jules makes some perfect sense. In many ways our so-called democracy is an illusion, especially when you consider that it’s the world’s economic elites who ultimately run the show.

  23. Furtz…..perhaps. But I’d much rather live here than in a communist country. I’ll take our “democracy” over other countries forms of government.

  24. Author

    Honestly we have a great system. The problem is that it’s corrupted and we as a society seem to have no will or inclination to fix it and can’t get along terribly well….

  25. Author

    No, but if there is no will nothing will change for the better.

  26. Hugger, you must admit that when a political party can form a majority government with forty percent of the votes, there’s something a little wonky with our so-called democracy.

  27. Admin….agreed. But it’s just not Cornwall. It seems the whole civilized world has that attitude now.

    Furtz….Agreed again. There has been problems getting people to vote ever since the “first cross the line” system was introduced. I don’t see it changing anytime soon unfortunately.

  28. Every government system in the world is corrupted and some a great deal more corrupted than others. Yes here in Canada it is still one of the best if not the best even with the evil 1% behind it all.

  29. Hugger if you took the time to do a lot of reading you would see that what I am posting is the truth and posting from what I have read. I can’t post everything or Jamie would have a bird. You may think that I am just rambling but I am not I am dead serious.

  30. Jamie and folks the name that I have been looking for is Ross Perot who was from Texas and running as an independent and was threatened by George Bush Sr. to back out or else. All this is 100% true and this is not rambling nonsense but the truth.

  31. Author

    Hugger I live in Cornwall. My focus starts where I live and then moves from there. If we can’t improve our home then we can’t improve the world around us.

  32. Admin….I agree….If we can’t improve our home then we can’t improve the world around us. People have to want to change. I think a lot of people are complacent and okay with the way things are. Is it okay?? I’m far from happy how everything is going.

  33. I believe that people have become complacent due to their inability to perceive how change can be implemented to put us onto a better path. A society burdened by a sense of hopelessness is not exactly a stimulating environment. Change for the sake of change or change born out of desperation is not likely to produce the results that we seek or desire. Rougher roads lie ahead so it becomes a test of how much we can endure before we unite for a common purpose again. I agree with Admin, change has to start at home. I prefer to be proactive rather than reactive.

  34. Jamie, Hugger and folks I have read and listened to so much and one thing that stuck in my mind was that in order to change a country and the world you have to change it from the municipal level. Now what change did Leslie make in Cornwall so far absolutely nothing – it is the same old boys mentality. In order for Cornwall to change people have to leave Cornwall for a while to get that strange mentality out of them in order to make some improvements otherwise there will be none. A great deal has to change and you have to start at the local level before moving on.

  35. In order to make really good changes it really starts with you as a person and if you have a very low self esteem and no education then you really do not know how to make change. You also have to get out in the world meaning get out of Cornwall for heaven sake and see other places and live in them and stop being a country bumkin that hasn’t experienced other things. That is a real problem with Cornwall and one professional man said to my mom way back in the early 60’s (he was from near London, Ontario) and he called Cornwall “sticky town” meaning that people didn’t want to leave and yes stincky town as well. People are so accustomed of being tramped upon in Cornwall and having everything done for them and treating them like dirt and the sheeple accepting it all and it is completely true. You cannot change a system that doesn’t want changes. People get into politics lying to the sheeple and are there to get fed and for their own gain. Wake up sheeple and pull the fleece out of your eyes. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

  36. David Oldham….I agree 100% with what you said and change does starts at home.

    Jules….leaving may be an option to some. For me it is no an option. Leaving does not change anything.

  37. Hugger leaving does make changes and for you you have already seen other places but many have been stuck in the boonies all their life and know nothing outside of hill town. Yes people have to leave, get educated and come back with better ideas. All the people who go into the race as mayor and council have done absolutely nothing. All it is is changing the “bird cage liner” which will have to be done again in the next election.

  38. So people with no education and low self-esteem do not know how to make changes? Eiyeeeeeeeeeee……..

    Cornwall is changing….slowly. Baby steps….

    As for politicians…..I agree to an extent. But there are some good ones out there.

  39. Jules said….”Hugger leaving does make changes and for you you have already seen other places but many have been stuck in the boonies all their life and know nothing outside of hill town. Yes people have to leave, get educated and come back with better ideas. All the people who go into the race as mayor and council have done absolutely nothing. All it is is changing the “bird cage liner” which will have to be done again in the next election.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. Change does not happen overnight. It takes time.

  40. I agree Hugger1 change doesn’t usually occur overnight unless there is unity in the need for change. The status quo is maintained unless a situation arises which radically disturbs the balance. Cornwall has a long history of a disproportionate level of welfare recipients. The stories of generational welfare families certainly has merit in Cornwall, I have personally witnessed many such cases. This “need” is matched by an onslaught of professionals and support systems which derive income from the “need”. The status quo therefore is maintained because of those who contribute nothing and those who depend on that not changing.

    In my opinion unless we attack the welfare issue and change the disproportionate ratio within our demographic change will not likely occur regardless of time.

    The current council and councils past have all had the ability to positively address changing the status quo. Unfortunately either through ignorance or lack of backbone this opportunity has never been developed. I have said it before in this forum that lack of vision, lack of planning and outright absence of effective leadership has been Cornwall’s ball and chain.

    I have explained how the infamous “tank” situation could have been avoided. I have discussed the reality of Dec 31,2019 when our current contract with Quebec hydro ends and the Liberal Green Energy Act prohibits us from enjoying the rewards of competition. I could explain how to easily resolve the issue of welfare and removing the dark cloud which obscures Cornwall’s potential but there is not one individual on council capable of acting on their own. The political fence sitting is disgusting to watch as they each look left and right before weighing in on issues. Committed to following with no leadership in sight, that is the past and current plight.

    Eventually a common need will thrust a leader into the fray and Cornwall will change. It is just a matter of time.

  41. Mr. Oldham you said everything right and one thing that I said quite some time ago to you is that I wish that you ran as mayor or at least council. What I see as council now is a mighty pitiful sight of incompetent baffoons and ignorant and absolutely no idea what they are doing at all. At least under BOB he had a more capable bunch as council but this gang knows absolutely nothing at all and I cannot stand to watch any of them since it makes me sick literally. Nothing has changed except to go downhill. Again Mr. Oldham you would be the top person to be as mayor and at least in council you would put them all to shame. I mean that fully.

  42. Hugger change may take time but it doesn’t take a lifetime the way things are going in Cornwall we would not be alive to see the changes happen. This council is the most dumbfounded bunch of baffoons that I have laid eyes on and I am too sick to look at them. Yes it takes a lot of experience and get the hell out of the boonies and learn how life works elsewhere. This bunch is the country bumkins who haven’t seen a thing or experienced different things to bring to the table. Like Mr. Oldham said about welfare being from one generation to the other is the absolute truth. One very famous business man in Cornwall spoke about that very same topic to my husband and I and all of you know him and is now deceased and had his own business. He said that it ran in his family and didn’t want it in his own and was a success. Yes the mayor and council can make these changes but they are there to get fed and they laugh at the rest.

  43. Hugger it takes good self esteem and a plan for the future and not everyone is made for university and college in the trades are the way to go. People who have trades always have work wherever it may be and outdoes many professions. Lawyers are begging for work and they have university. You need a good plan and make it work. The man that I spoke about had a trade in Cornwall and made a big business and that is the goal that people have to make or you stay behind as a loser. The same goes for mayor and council you have to have a good group and not the laughing stock that is there just now.

  44. David Oldham….I agree Cornwall does have generational welfare families. They seem to think because their parents were on welfare that they as well should be on welfare. It’s become a sense of entitlement. We need to break that mentality. But changing generational welfare families’ attitudes is not easy. I think making them do work for their welfare cheque would stop a lot of generational welfare families. But that was tried before without luck. Could something else be tried to end generational welfare families?

    Jules….This council of the most dumbfounded bunch of buffoons has just started. How about we give them some time before we close the door on them and call them names? Four months is NOT an indication of what is to come. Calling people “country bumpkins” is not a good start. Yes, some people might deserve it, but most do not. Personally I do not appreciate being called such a thing.

    Some of the richest and smartest people are not university educated. And having a “trade” as a job, there is nothing wrong with that. Without the “trades” where would we be? Not everyone has or needs a plan to succeed in life.

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