We can do well without slates.
It’s definitely disappointing to see many of the candidates running in our upcoming local elections lining up in “slates” in their attempt to get elected; basically joining some minor local political party.
One thing I have always appreciated in both municipal and corporate politics, is that those who are our representatives are usually elected based on either their merit or perhaps on their personal infamy.
They tend not to be elected based on who are their running mates nor on those who is financing their candidacy. But now we have the provincial and federal political concept of “party politics” entering the local race.
To me, that is very unfortunate.
I prefer the term non-partisan; elected representatives working together in order to reach a common goal. The greatest problem we have with a democracy is party politics, where one must either vote as the party whip determines or become an outcast.
The ideal alternative within municipalities and most organizations has always been that persons who are elected as representatives find themselves working together as individuals, not as loyalists tied to some party affiliation. They are free to vote in favour of one member’s motion at one time and oppose that same member’s motion at another. To me, that is responsible democracy in action. They are responsible only to the people who elected them.
However, those who run on a slate are removed from such independence. Their first loyalty is to their team of fellow “slatists” as well as to the money that got them there. They are far less free to act as an unfettered spokesperson.
Both Langley City and Township have been free of this type of candidate influence over the last few elections But now, according to the ads in the Langley Advance Times, it seems to be creeping back in a big way.
For me it’s a deciding factor for who I would vote for on Oct. 15. If the candidate is tied to some “slate” at election time, then you can be sure he/she will not get my vote. I prefer my elected officials to be free to decide the issues for themselves.
Evan Brett, Walnut Grove
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