Alistair MacWho? Sending irrelevant politicians to Ottawa

The ruling party doesn’t cater to back-benchers from another party

Alistair MacWho? Sending irrelevant politicians to Ottawa

As someone who has always had an affinity towards someone with a Scottish last name, please don’t take this out of context. Perhaps Alistair MacGregor is Irish decent, since there’s often some discrepancy between Irish and Scottish last names. The reason for this article is not to debate Scottish or Irish lineage, but rather what expectations people have for the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford constituency in the upcoming fall federal elections.

“Having issues with any of the following?” This is the question championed by MacGregor in his most recent mailed pamphlet. The issues he has concerns with are very legitimate and worth pondering: CPP, immigration status, Veteran Affairs, federal student loans, CRA, etc. However, as someone who has followed politics vigorously most of my life and is fully aware of the fact that the ruling party doesn’t cater to back-benchers from another party, I’m always skeptical and concerned about sending irrelevant politicians to parliament.

The NDP currently have 39 seats in the House of Commons and have very little power or sway. Incidentally, it appears (according to valid statistics) it’s about to get much worse. Not only are they polling at the lowest rate in over 20 years, but Jagmeet Singh even had the audacity to announce that he would not form a coalition with the Conservatives under any circumstance to overthrow the Liberals, due to Andrew Scheer’s recently exposed homophobia. To me this sounds like someone who plans on losing an election, and is not even expecting to acquire Official Opposition status, let alone forming any type of coalition at all. Perhaps, maintaining official party status is the NDP’s goal; 12 seats. Is this really who you want representing your region federally in the House of Commons? A party with 12 seats out of 338?

Undoubtedly, many people on Vancouver Island have left leaning tendencies: environmentalism, poverty reduction, rights for minorities, etc. However, if you expect to have any of those changes implemented or furthered, having a back-bencher representing your region will not get you anything; fact! Let’s face it, the Liberals or Conservatives are going to win the next election; undisputedly! Why not have a representative in parliament who actually belongs to the ruling party if you want to make real change? Sure, the NDP and Greens might be able to manipulate some votes in the House of Commons if there’s a minority government. What if it’s a majority government? Do you really think the Conservatives (especially) are going to hand out federal money to an uber left-leaning NDP party? You would have to be crazy to think so. Also, despite being left-leaning the Liberals are going to put the money towards ridings who actually supported them, rather than Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, who decided to go NDP.

The reality is that people in our constituency often have left-leaning tendencies. Obviously the NDP lean much farther left than the Liberals. But, if you want a voice in parliament for the next four to five years, you may want to consider not selecting a back-bencher that no one in Ottawa has ever heard of, nor will they ever hear of or listen to. Heck, left-leaning or not, you would be better off voting Conservative than NDP, at least they stand a chance at forming a government, official opposition, or at least having a voice. Sure, Alistair MacGregor and the NDP may stand for something, but what’s the point if the other 337 members of parliament consider you insignificant?

Tony Odo


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