Saturday, August 25, 2007

We don't need your stinkin' democracy

Ah, the Harperites have done it again. You can read it here, here, here, here and, oh yes, here. Elect whomever you like. If the Harperites gain anything resembling power, they will stuff the decision of the electorate right up their asses.
Dick Harris MP for Cariboo-Prince George has named Houston Mayor and Conservative candidate Sharon Smith as the person that residents of Skeena-Bulkley Valley can contact when they have concerns or issues with the federal government.

Harris said, “As Chairman of the BC Caucus of Conservative MPs, I am pleased that Sharon has accepted this role, and I know the constituents of Skeena-Bulkley Valley will derive a huge benefit from having direct contact with government, something that they have not had since 2004.

I and other BC Conservative MPs will work closely with Sharon Smith as she represents constituents of her riding to the government members. It will be a bonus for people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley to have direct representation to the government on so many issues,” continued Harris

Harris concluded, “Having an MP from the fourth party in the House just doesn’t cut it when it comes to actually getting things done for the folks in Skeena-Bulkley Valley . Sharon Smith with her direct government contact will ensure that things DO get done. The Terrace water infrastructure, Smithers Airport expansion, and Houston event center’s new “green” system are just a few examples of what can be accomplished when you have a direct link to government”.
Of course some people don't think Harris, beyond this obvious attempt to insert one his own kind has any right whatsoever to "appoint" a quasi-MP.

It was with great interest that I read the content devoted to the announced funding for the extension of the Smithers airport runway.

The relief of the announcement was overshadowed by the window dressing made possible by our Conservative government, along with our “liason to the federal government,” candidate Sharon Smith, and the slanted viewpoint of this newspaper and its editor.

First, it was announced that candidate Smith had been appointed “Skeena- Bulkley Valley liaison to the federal government.”

That appointment quoted in the editorial bugs me for two reasons the most important being the fact that I thought that our sitting MP Nathan Cullen was our liaison to the federal government.

Moreover, by being elected freely by the constituents of the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, and our true federal liaison in Ottawa, shouldn’t thanks and his presence have been afforded to him when this announcement was made.

Second, if the editorial is true and this title bestowed upon candidate Smith is legit, then does this mean the taxpayers of this country are paying her a salary, honourarium or a budget for a office that would be similar to our sitting MP Cullen?

If so, I would consider this a unconservative waste of taxpayers dollars.

On the second point perhaps I’m being a little coy and satirical in the same way that the editorial should be viewed.

The problem is that, faced with the format of the announcement and the subsequent Houston Today media blitz, somehow our wishes were granted though some back door deal lead by a Conservative candidate — sorry “federal liaison for the Bulkley Valley.”

The notion fails to ascertain the possibilities that the future expansion of our runway was a result of a concerted effort from community leaders, including Mayors Smith and Davidson.

Futhermore, the effort was reinforced by the strong lobbying efforts of our elected and re-elected federal liaison MP Cullen.

On a final note, if one assumes the editorial is true and that candidate Smith is the force behind the funding for the runway extension, then I would like to add my thanks to former liberal candidates Gordon Stamp-Vincent and Miles Richardson for bringing the Prince Rupert port expansion announced under a federal Liberal government in Ottawa.

Just another example of the power of privilege clouding the work of the people and its representatives.

Frank Farrell Smithers

Since Nathan Cullen is the Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, there is no need for a "government liaison" person. That is the MP's role, and it is contingent upon the government to listen to the concerns of his constituents when he presents them.

I suppose it should be mentioned that Dick Harris, the Conservative MP for Cariboo-Chilcotin, and the individual who announced this move, used to represent Skeena-Bulkley Valley until redistribution in 2003 formed the new riding which he now represents.

Maybe this is just a case of sour grapes on the part of Harris. In any case, it represents the shame of the Conservative Party that the only representatives they will with whom they will communicate are those with Conservative Party membership cards.

Harris and Smith have some immediate questions to answer:

1. Does Smith get paid and who pays her?
2. Does Smith have access to caucus?
3. Does Smith have access to cabinet ministers ahead of the duly elected member of parliament?

I hope this contempt for the voters of a riding Harris does not represent plays back into his own riding during the next federal election. In fact, we'll just make sure his constituents and Skeena-Bulkley Valley constituents receive a strong and constant reminder when they next hit the hustings.

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