Monday, January 4, 2010

You Leave Town For 5 Days...

... and all hell breaks loose...

Nation, I'm still digesting today's news. Those who know me know why this is such a personal shock to me. You'll get my take - as coherantly as I can provide it - tomorrow.

8 comments:

Don Middleton said...

If a sitting MLA feels strongly enough to leave the party they are currently sitting for, they should RESIGN their seat and run in a by-election for the party they wish to join. There are a great deal of people who put time, energy and other resources in to getting people elected. Let the electorate decide. That is the democratic way.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mr. Middleton. There is no doubt that the true constituency representation should be determined by the electorate in the constituency, not by the seeming political 'whim' of the individual who has been provided the privilege of that representation.

Taking into consideration what occurred today, the loss from the PC caucus of Mr. Anderson is much greater than that of Ms. Forsythe. Should there be surprise at the defections, though? I would submit 'no', but the timing is. The Premier received an endorsement of 77.4% of his party, albeit some of that conditional. The Premier has promised changes and the change around the cabinet table appears imminent. A crucial piece of consultation, the Competitiveness Review, is due in the near term. A Budget (certainly something that Mr. Anderson must have had some input on, given his previous membership on Treasury Board) is due likely in the next 10 weeks. A cynic might suggest that their knowledge of what is coming pushed these individuals to make their moves now to distance themselves from those matters. I am troubled that these seemingly reputable and genuine individuals would make what would either be a career making or career limiting move with so many parts still moving.

Ah politics! Its never dull!

Kirk Schmidt said...

Resignation by choice, especially in a situation like this, I do agree with. However, I would warn against automatic resignation, as opposed to perhaps making the Members sit as independents until elected into another party.

Here's why.

Let's say the Gov't introduces some policy that is disagreeable to some of the Gov'ts members (perhaps detrimental to the province and/or country).

You have N Members, and require (N/2 + 1) votes to pass. Now, let's say that enough of the gov'ts members vote against it, and it doesn't pass, but they either resign from their seats or are kicked out. So M Members are removed from legislature.

Now you require ((N-M)/2 + 1) votes to pass, which works out to (N/2) - (M/2) + 1.

So, if you had 20 members, 5 in opposition against, and 6 in gov't against (so 9 for, 11 against). But those 6 from gov't side resign/are kicked out. Now you need (20/2 - 6/2 + 1) for, or, 8 for. Now, with the members kicked out of legislature, the gov't has the option of reintroducing similar legislation (and does not have to call a by-election for several months), and can pass it, since there's still 9 for and only 5 against now.

Essentially, automatic resignation could allow a government to pass something that is undesirable to voters, as long as it's not simply the Opposition voting against, and if the numbers work out (and honestly, I haven't taken the time to prove any of this in a general standpoint, but you can see how at least the opportunity exists with certain numbers)

Anonymous said...

An even easier way to handle this is for people to stop voting for parties and start looking at the views and stances the actual candidate holds.

Then, vote on the people whos views match your own. Not the party.

Don Middleton said...

I agree with Anonymous, that people should vote for the individual, not the party. Unfortunately, that does not work in the parliamentary system. The voters need to consider the big picture and who they would like to be the premier, since we do not vote directly for that person (unless you live in their riding).

Christopher said...

I disagree that voting for the individual doesn't work. In fact, I think our increasing government disfunction is a strong indication that voting for the party doesn't work.

When you stop voting for the individual, you stop getting the highest quality individuals running in the election, and power consolidates into unelected positions within the party (rather than elected positions within the government).

Don Middleton said...

The dilemma occurs when you have a candidate you wish to support in your riding, but they belong to a party whose leader you would prefer not to be the premier.

Christopher said...

That dilemma seems unrealistic to me. The chance of a majority of the seats going to deserving candidates belonging to a party with an abysmal leader seems remote. If that leader gets into power, it likely won't be by the one seat you voted for.

Even if your elected member is the one that swung the balance, at least you now have a representative who is in the governing party and has a better chance of getting the leader's ear. And since she was a solid candidate, you can probably expect her to actively do so.

Whereas if you vote for the crummy candidate who belonged to the party with the good leader, that candidate won't be respected and/or listened to by the good leader, so their chance of representing (and furthering) your constituencies interests is much less.