Monday, June 07, 2004

There is now some discussion regarding the Conservative Party desire to allow 'free vote' & private member bilis on issues such as abortion. The idea here is that MP's are individuals of intellect & should be allowed to exercise that intellect. PM Martin spoke of the 'democratic deficit' in Canadian government. For too long the whip , under the control of the PMO has been informing MP's what to think and how to vote.

So what about free votes and privaie member bills? Couple this with the Conservative ibeliefs in ihe grassroots it can mean some interesting days. The question is what is an MP^ is he or she the mouthpiece for their constituency or do we elect them & allow to act in the best interest of the constituents and the nation. Do they act for us or as agents of us?

Not that is a new question, it was asked & one answer was given by Edmund Burke. His speech to the Electors of Bristol present the view of the MP as representing a constituency rather then the constituents. Thus the election becomes the means by which the electoate express their approval, or disproval of their actions. Has times changed. Are the points Edmund Burke made relevant today. Reading his speech I realized he was presenting his defense for his actions. I should look up the results of that election.

He did make an interesting point:e done: 'Gentleman, bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.'
This is to be remembered no matter what the source. The fear is that private members bills will lead Canada to develop into a Taliban West. Bad laws can come from any source and I hope everyone remembers this reality. As for the grassroots, yes we can be opinionated and perhaps at times bigoted. People can also be thoughtful & having insight that can be very profound.

What's the answer? Perhaps found with a combination of bgth views.


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