THUNDER BAY – Editorial – In his last letter to Canadians, the Hon. Jack Layton MP wrote, “Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change”.
Layton’s vision of the New Democrats is at risk of being wiped away this week.
By standing up and voting what their constituents have repeatedly told them, Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty could face sanctions from the New Democrats.
The New Democrats reportedly did not whip the vote. Making the speculation that the two MPs could face sanctions, even worse.
Bluntly put, the NDP’s actions are likely one of the reasons that fewer and fewer people respect politics lately. By standing up for their constituents, John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer are demonstrating that democracy is important, and more importantly it is alive and well.
Well at least it is alive and well in Thunder Bay. Ottawa inside the NDP Caucus meeting, the NDP MPs will decide if the NDP stands for democracy, or not.
Should the New Democrats place any penalties, punishments or sanctions against Thunder Bay’s two NDP MPs, they are in effect telling the thousands of people in the two ridings that their voices have or should be silenced.
It is hardly a message that any political party in Canada or in any freedom loving country should want to send.
The New Democrats by even suggesting that our two Members of Parliament should be punished are taking the words of their former leader, and tossing them, like sand, in the face of voters in Thunder Bay Superior North and Thunder Bay Rainy River. It is all up to the New Democrats to decide, if as Jack Layton said, the NDP is a party “where your vote matters”, or not.
Punishing Members of Parliament for voting the wishes of their constituents is wrong. In a year when despotic leaders have been tossed from power by people seeking freedom, it is not the job of Canada’s New Democrats to try to turn back the tide of democracy.
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