Northern Pride (Meadow Lake, SK), Tuesday,
August 5, 2008
Our democracy must not be made a fool of
It's being touted as Nomination Day; a day when
card-carrying Liberal Party of Canada members will vote
on a candidate to represent their interests for the
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill river riding.
There's an organic farmer and a First Nations woman
as candidates. Both David Orchard and Joan Beatty have
solid experience behind them as politicians and both
believe the riding is theirs for the taking.
Before they can face Conservative Rob Clarke for the
post in the next federal election — with the federal
Liberals saying mum about when they might try to bring
the government down — the pair must face off against one
While there are divisions in the Liberal Party of
Canada membership here in Saskatchewan — especially in
the northern portion of the province — it's not clear
what those divisions have done to the party's chance of
beating the Conservatives in this riding.
Another problem seems to be looming, threatening to
bring down the Saskatchewan Liberal machine yet again.
Looking at the polling locations for the August 14
nomination vote, five of the polling stations are
located in the northern half of the riding, while two
are found in the Northwest. The final two locations are
odd ducks, with isolated Pinehouse Lake being one and
Prince Albert (which isn't even in the riding) being the
The only polling stations in the Northwest are in
Meadow Lake and Canoe Lake Cree Nation. Orchard wants to
include another polling station in Ile-a-la Crosse so
that Liberal party members from La Loche, for example,
don't have to drive hours just to vote.
It may seem like small potatoes, but what's at stake
is ensuring a contest where both candidates compete for
their peers' support on an even playing field.
If equal representation isn't made possible, then all
the high-flying morality people like to preach these
days gets tossed out the window. Democracy is then made
a fool of, a meaningless formality, rendered useless as
politicians move to pull the puppet strings and
There must be at least one more polling station in
the Northwest so that Liberal Party of Canada members
here can place their vote and chose, in a fair way, who
will represent them in the next federal election.
It's time for Canadians here in northern Saskatchewan
to ensure their democracy isn't turned into a sideshow.