Do we elect a voiceless eunuch?

In Canada we are governed by the parliamentary system. Voters in each riding elect a person to represent them.
The Governor General of Canada offers the political party with the most elected members the opportunity to form the government.
Looking back in time, the local citizens of the riding paid far more attention to the candidates who were running, as well as to their abilities to represent the riding in Ottawa and respond to the needs of their constituency.
It was far more valuable to know that the person elected would understand the issues, which is especially important since each riding has its own individual needs.
Somehow that has changed over time. I don’t know exactly when it happened but it has.
Pierre Trudeau was accused of believing that he was almost a god and only he knew what was best for Canada. During the election following the defeat of the brief Joe Clark government, John Reid, then the MP for Kenora-Rainy River, admitted publicly that Canadians were going to face huge oil and gas price increases as Finance minister John Crosby had predicted in the budget debate.
Reid, who had been a cabinet minister under Trudeau, never was offered that position again for his honesty with the public.
Brian Mulroney, who followed John Turner, eventually was felt to be a dictator in creating the GST and free trade agreement with the United States.
Jean Chrétien, who really followed Mulroney, held tight reins over his Liberal colleagues and was not above tossing them from the party when disagreements occurred. Joe Comuzzi was tossed from the Liberal caucus by Paul Martin for supporting the Conservative budget, which would help his riding.
Today, Stephen Harper is considered just as much a tyrant in the running of the Conservative government. Tom Mulcair, meanwhile, is known to be able to control party dissent with his huge base of elected New Democrats from Quebec.
Every member follows his directions without dissent.
Throughout the campaign, we are barraged with ads focusing singly on five leaders: Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, Tom Mulcair, Elizabeth May, and, in Quebec, Gilles Duceppe.
The election is all about them and what they will do for Canadians. Local riding issues have no factor in creating the next government of Canada.
The major parties expect us only to elect surrogates without voice or opinion to Ottawa. The party leaders expect their candidates to toe the line without dissent.
As electors, we should be asking questions of all the candidates, such as “what positives do you see in the proposals put forward by the various parties?” We should demand that they answer to the question, “What policies of your party do you disagree with?”
And “Would you sacrifice your membership in that party’s caucus to voice your difference of opinion publicly, as did Joe Comuzzi.”
Polls tell us that this will be a close election, with a minority government as the outcome. Compromises will have to be made between the parties and even members of the parties.
We should know what our candidates would be ready to compromise on.
In this riding, we don’t get to cast a vote for Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, Elizabeth May, or Tom Mulcair because this is not the riding they are running in. Instead, we can cast a vote for Moe Comuzzi, Christy Radbourne, John Rafferty, or Don Rusnak.
It is our choice: “Do we elect a voiceless eunuch or a person who will speak to our needs?”
Election day is Monday, Oct. 19.

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