It's My Party, I'll Try If I Want To

Edmonton - Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - by: Ron Thornton

my own

When next we head to the polls, I may find myself scratching my head in search of a political party that might be worthy of my support. In fact, as there no longer appears to be any political party out there who I feel truly represents me, maybe I should just establish my own. After all, I'm an Albertan. It is what we do out here.




For example, laws should be made by Parliament, not by the judiciary. Parliament, not just the provinces, has the ability to defend its legislative powers through invoking Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states
"Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter."
As the Charter seems to actually undermine our rights and freedoms, a thorough review of the document is also in order. Ironically, the most dangerous clause within the Charter is Section 33 itself, which essentially would allow a future government to legally suspend our fundamental freedoms, along with our democratic, mobility, legal, and equality rights. Any Charter of Rights and Freedoms that provides the very method for stripping its population of such rights and freedoms is a fatally flawed document indeed.




A nation is more than just those areas of high population density, but should be inclusive and representative of its peoples from sea to sea to sea. To better reflect that reality, I would seek to institute an elected Senate with equal representation from each province, effective in representing the interests of the people in each province. By borrowing from both the systems in operation in the United States and Australia, we could set the terms of Senators to match those of the House of Commons, as well as deal with how disagreements between the two wings of Parliament might be resolved.




All high-level government appointments, from cabinet ministers to Supreme Court justices would go through an open, public vetting procedure so that we might know the quality of individual who will be appointed on our behalf. We deserve the best possible public servants, not just those who have spent their time cultivating political patronage points. As all such choices are currently made by one person, the Prime Minister, all such appointments are already political in nature. I advocate that such choices should be more democratic, open, and legitimate in the mind's of Canadians than the current process.




Government is there to serve, but to do so with a sense of honor and integrity. Be it a government department, a government agency, or any other process that involves the government and your tax dollars, everyone must be held accountable all of the time. A review or auditing system would need to be established so that we would know just where our dollars have been spent, on what, and with whom. Anyone who deals with and receives funding from the government should not expect to have that information kept private or secret. That should be an expected price for providing and accepting government assistance.



odd one

My political party stands for things I believe in, though it has no name, no members, no cash, no support, no official standing, and in the minds of many, no chance of ever implementing much for which it stands. We are told that there is no way central or Atlantic Canada would ever adopt such views, that we in the west are out of step with the thinking of those who lie east of us. Then again, if our association with the rest of Canada is all that prevents us from evolving from this antiquated, colonial, draconian, and disreputable system to one more modern, national, democratic, and accountable, then that is an impediment we should also look at removing.




Ron Thornton




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