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The StarPhoenix, Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Letter to the editor
Issue in Desnethé riding is respect for democracy

I am an on-reserve Indian businessman in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. I'm dismayed at the behaviour of John Dorion LINK TO APPOINTMENT BEST SERVES NORTHERNERS, who was running to be the Liberal candidate in my riding.

Why did he solemnly declare at the emergency meeting of Liberal members in Prince Albert: "I want my democratic right to make my own choice?" At that time, I understood we were fighting together for the right of constituents to choose their own representative to run for Parliament.

Now, for some reason, it has become a personal issue for Dorion. I guess one of the good things about having Stéphane Dion appoint a candidate is that it kept out Dorion.

When will the people who are trying to represent me start defending my democratic right to make my own choice?

Democracy is a process -- getting to know your representative, nominating a candidate, debating and voting. Wars have been fought to protect these acts of democracy. It is about much more than marking an X on a voting slip.

I have no problem with Joan Beatty, but before I gave her my support I would have liked her to answer some questions -- such as why she feels we must step aside for her if she does not have the time to sell memberships and get involved in the nomination process.

For some reason Dorion is trying to make this a brown and white issue. To me, it's not an issue of colour or an issue of Beatty, Dorion or David Orchard. And it's not a male or female issue.

It's about respecting and protecting the democratic process. If I don't speak out, I become part of the problem. I hope Dorion is not playing the race card. Does he not realize that there are white voters in this riding?

I'm insulted as a First Nations member that our representative has to be appointed. There was ample time for the proper process to take place.

Joe Durocher, Meadow Lake

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