Monday, August 3, 2009

Rearing Its Head Again...

Source: Leader Post: Details of Sask. Medical Isotopes Proposal to be Released Next Week

We all knew that it was coming, and we all could see just how much Premier Wall was gushing about the prospect of a nuclear isotope facility in Saskatchewan; and it seems that next week we're going to have the chance to see just what they've been planning.

Before I repeat myself with some of the things I've previously ranted about in regards to a nuclear Saskatchewan, I feel the need to point out one very important thing:

Richard Florizone, a man who has been instrumental in pushing for nuclear power in Saskatchewan, is currently the Vice-President of Finances and Resources at the University of Saskatchewan; a post he's held for probably a little over two years.

Now, I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but it seems odd that after his appointment the University of Saskatchewan seems to be a prime spot for this reactor.

Take that as you will.

Now, I could sit here and type out all the problems I've mentioned before: How this simply opens a backdoor for the Saskatchewan Party Government to circumvent the will of the people (who seem to overwhelming oppose nuclear power in the province) by getting their foot in the door; or the problem of what does one do with nuclear waste?

But, I have ranted about those in great detail on about two or three prior posts on this blog; and simply, I don't need to repeat it when it can simply be looked up.

What I am going to say, is that we are seeing a potentially devastating situation here. I'm not saying that there is going to be a nuclear disaster, not that kind of devastating; the kind of devastating I'm talking about is an isolation in the political process.

We've elected representatives to be exactly that, representatives. The idea of holding public consultations and speaking with constituents is what a democracy is about; instead, we are seeing a shift towards the dangerous mood of party driven politics and arrogance.

Allow me to explain.

As I mentioned awhile back while talking about Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz, his famous response to me was the idea of 'if people didn't agree with me, they wouldn't have voted for me.' This is what we are seeing with this annoucement.

A government that thinks being elected means their entire policy is suddenly approved; that it doesn't come down to what the people actually want, it's what they were elected to do. This is a common defense for these politicians 'I was elected to...'

But how many people really vote based on policy?

I guarantee you that there are voters who simply vote a certain way because that's how they were raised; or that's the party that they've always voted for; or that they knew the candidate personally, and any other numerous other reasons people for a representative outside of their policy.

Perhaps worse, are people who pick and chose their policies. For example, let's say a person is an environmentalist. But they are also pro-life, and they consider this issue to be more important than their environmental leanings. As such, they'll likely vote Conservative over that one key issue rather than a party that can represent all their issues.

So, while a person did indeed vote for them, they didn't necessarily agree with all of their policy points.

That is what we are seeing here. People in Saskatchewan often cite voting for the Saskatchewan Party because after 16 years of NDP Government, it was time for a change. Now this issue doesn't factor into the thinking of Saskatchewan Party MLAs. Rather, they're under the misguided idea that they were elected to impliment all of their policies, and that is why they were elected.

This is indeed, not the case. Given that public consulations were strongly against the idea of nuclear power, the Saskatchewan Party found itself at a crossroads. We were elected to explore nuclear power, so we need to explore it. Who cares if people are telling us they don't want it now that we're in power, we were elected on our policy!

See what the problem is here?

So, what is the solution? As I see it, there isn't one. Party Politics is a dangerous game, especially when elected officials are too blind to see that a vote is not an endorsement of all party policy. This is the price we pay for a political system driven by party politics. After all, how could you organize a government without some form of party system?

So, the solution is rather simple: If parties are going to hold consultations, honour them. Even if your party policy contradicts the results, you were elected to REPRESENT people, not force a doctrine upon them.

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