Dire need of repair

Jack Hedman

Dear Mike:
I believe that politics in North America is at a crossroads. On both sides of the border, the electorate seem to be fed up with the status quo.
Just recently, the CBC explored the concept that perhaps our system of government is broken. In my opinion, the system itself is, indeed broken, dysfunctional, and requires a major overhaul.
The current Republican leadership campaign illustrates the same malaise in the U.S. Donald Trump openly has displayed contempt for everyone around him and brags about being the only non-politician in the race.
His large lead in the polls is not surprising to me because I believe people are beginning to display arrogance for the face of politics.
I sense the same feelings exist on the Canadian side of the border. In the vast majority of cases, the person you elect can carry on as the party dictates because promises made during campaigns appear meaningless.
Once elected, accountability flies out the window. I cannot name any job where such a luxury exists.
You folks decide who gets the job and you also pay the salaries. Is there no entitlement for such a commitment? They get four years of free rein at your expense.
I do not place any blame on the shoulders of the elected representatives. They party system is in dire need of repair.
Like in the U.S., Canadians have the right to recall a candidate who reneges on a campaign commitment. I’m not sure if it ever has been tried here, but in the U.S. it is very real.
Do you remember how Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California? Gov. Gray, who was in office at the time, was recalled, fired, and replaced in another election.
This happens all the time in the workforce. Why should politicians have an exemption? Why is accountability not required?
I vividly remember the long gun registry debate in Canada. Thomas Mulcair was the new kid on the block and decided his party must be whipped into retaining the registry.
One politician had the courage to face his leader and say “no” to the dictates of party politics. His constituency base in Thunder Bay was surveyed and indicated a strong desire to turf the long gun registry.
Bruce Hyer stood his ground to support that wish knowing full well that there would be consequences.
He also understood the difference between right and wrong. Rather than sit as a lame duck, he crossed the floor to the Green Party. There were more lucrative choices.
He received a great deal of criticism for his courage but it is my belief that he showed integrity—and that is something we don’t always see on the Hill.
I’m simply criticizing our current system of government and illustrating what it would take for your elected representative to stay with a campaign commitment rather than succumb to party politics.
What kind of candidate will satisfy your expectations in October?
The example that I briefly referred to was a breath of fresh air to me.
Jack Hedman
Fort Frances, Ont.