Thursday, May 31, 2012

UNDERMINING DEMOCRACY

Southern Gazette Photo
It is politics as normal in the province and the country.

While thumbing threw the Southern Gazette over lunch, the story about the privatization of the harbour in Fortune grabbed my attention. It was not so much the story, but the picture that made me smirk.

 The caption under the photo  by Cynthia Farrell states "Conservative Newfoundland and Labrador Senator Norman Doyle was in Fortune to officially announce the transfer of the town’s port to the Harbour Authority of Fortune Inc. Thursday."  It lists the names of the men in the photo and their positions.

Than it me, hang on a second someone is missing from this photo. Where is the Member of Parliament? Was she even invited?

How often does a non-elected senator make an announcement on behalf of the federal government without inviting the locally elected M.P. to attend? Often, if the riding in question is not on the government side. It happens provincially as well. Often local MHA's are not invited or recognized at events in their districts because they are not part of the government caucus.

Just think about it for a moment. The person who a majority of the voters supported to represent their interests, to advocate on their behalf are excluded from announcements because the governing party wants to undermine their legitimate representation. There outta be a law, or a constitutional provision that prevents this type of childish partisanship. Voters should be outraged?

In my nearly two decades of working for partisan types, my bosses, in particular Kevin Aylward, insisted that the local elected representatives were invited and given an opportunity to speak at all official government events, no matter the political stripe. 

You can bet your last nickel that the local politician worked diligently to assist the organization, or individual, navigate the federal process to obtain the funding or support - but they are left out of the picture.

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