A credibility problem

There's something happening here but what it is ain't exactly clear...at least to many of the province's politicians. Over the past three weeks, Liberal leadership candidates have promised to listen to public - who seem to be tired of being seen but not heard by those who are supposed to serve them. However, none of those candidates have committed to specific structural reforms that will make it more likely legislators will actually do so in the future.

None of them have committed to changing our political system - a system that, in effect, affords the premier near dictatorial authority between elections and sees legislators put the interests of their party ahead of their constituents or even their own consciences.

That suggests to me those who hold political power in this province are more interested in keeping it in their own hands than giving it back to the people who elected them - clearly failing to understand the need to restore credibility to a political system that's sorely lack it.

3 Comments

Sean, I agree w/ you that there is too much concentrated power in BC politics. But then-CKNW hotshot Christy Clark supported changing the voting system... and even someone with enough star power to power an entire political party's two recent comebacks couldn't get STV to pass.

Personally speaking, perhaps a new system needs to be engineered where each riding has a preferential vote like Australia. We also need MLAs that can do their jobs like Lana Popham, Mary Polak and Blair Lekstrom instead of outsorcing them to the media - after all the only group of people paid more are pro athletes!

Sean, your post identifies an essential factor in the growing alienation of voters over the past 25 years. As is often observed, we are governed through a parliamentary mechanism that is suited to the 18th century. However, implementing the public participation processes that (in my view) would ease the situation are expensive and difficult to implement, and they are unlikely to win the support of either political partisans or news media. Both groups have reasons to favour conflict over consensus.

There should be time limits on the number of terms an elected official may serve. Danny Miller had it right. We need less career politicians and more people with new energy.

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