Letters and Editorials 3177 Views by Gerry Masuda

British Columbians require Direct Democracy Pledge



I have concluded the only way to capture and retain the politicians' attention is to threaten his/her re-election on Election Day.

How can this be achieved? I am suggesting the Direct Democracy Pledge.

The block-voting concept behind the Pledge is captured in a typical opening statement such as "We the undersigned pledge to block-vote against the Liberal candidate in the riding of (insert riding name) and block-vote for an alternative in the coming elections. We take this action because the Liberal government has approved a run-of-river power project on the Kokish River. We will carry out our pledge unless the Liberal government rescinds this project."

Copies of the Pledge are sent to the Premier and the sitting Liberal MLA. If your MLA is not a Liberal, send the Pledge to the Liberal riding office. The number of block-vote pledges against the MLA will grows due other actions by the government. Both the MLA and the Premier would be forced to consider the impact of their future actions in order not to generate further pledged block-votes against the government and its MLAs.

This is influencing government policy between elections.

The power of the Direct Democracy Pledge comes at election time. When an election is called, the originator of the pledge sends an email to all his pledgers, reminding them of their pledge and encouraging them to 'talk up' the issue of the Kokish River Project with their friends and colleagues. This is where the power of the Pledge comes from. It reminds voters during the election of the actions of the government and holding them accountable. Copies of the email could also be sent to the Premier and the Liberal MLA.

Two weeks before Election Day, the originator of the Pledge sends out a second email to his/her pledgers recommending the candidate to block-vote for and asking them to 'talk up the issue' once again before Election Day.

This is doable by one dedicated individual. If an organization publicizes the Direct Democracy Pledge to its members and encourages them to submit a pledge, the impact could be significant.

Think what could have happened if the postal workers' union, forced into a negotiation by the Harper Government, had sponsored a Direct Democracy Pledge and got the support of all other unions (union solidarity). The PM and each Liberal MP could have been flooded with DDPs and the number of block-votes against them. They would be concerned.

If the Direct Democracy Pledge comes into general use, it could have a profound impact on governments - between elections. Think of all the things that our Prime Minister Harper has done against the interests of the 99%ers. We the 99%ers could vote Harper out in the coming elections. This would be Direct Democracy in action.

If you are interested in further details, please contact me. E-mail: gerry.masuda@gmail.com


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