Sunday, December 11, 2005

Where Does Your Candidate Live?

At this point in time, there is no legal requirement for your political representative to live in the riding he represents. It follows that candidates for the position are also not required to live in the riding.

In other words, the person who is going to make decisions on your behalf does not have to be your neighbor!

I think this lapse in geopolitical sense ought to be changed.

There are four candidates listed for my riding (CPC, NDP, Green, and Christian Heritage), and as far as I am able to tell, not a single one of them lives here. Maybe if and when the Liberals wake up, they'll field a candidate that actually has a local address.

Party and political rhetoric aside, I want a candidate/representative who, when I want some personal attention, is actually within reach! I want to be able to walk down the street, or take a short bus ride, and walk into an office and get some personal attention. I want to be able to take someone's hand, look someone in the eye -- even an office assistant! -- and say, "I have a concern I would like you to address."

One of the neatest things about having Chuck Cadman as my MP was that you could meet him for breakfast at his favorite local coffee shop. Politics and philosophies aside -- and he and I disagreed on a lot of things -- he was accessible!

So talk to the candidates in your riding. Ask them where they live. If they don't live in your riding, find out why not. And don't let them slide by with an answer like, "Well, I've lived [wherever] for a long time, and I've got a lot invested there." Honestly, I heard a candidate say this once, several years ago. He got elected, unfortunately, and was only heard from again when he needed something else from the residents of the riding -- money or a show of hands at one of his town-hall-type meetings.

If you're going to represent me, you'd better live where I live. I want you to know from experience that we live in a high-crime neighborhood. I don't want to have to spend your valuable time as well as my valuable time explaining the facts of criminal life to you. I want to be able to pose a question without in-depth foreshadowing, and have you respond quickly because you know exactly where I'm coming from. I want to be able to reference a local news item of concern and get your response without your having one of your elbow-tuggers whispering the background details in your ear.

If my neighborhood is not good enough for you to live in, it's much too good to have you as a representative.

Just sayin'.

2 Comments:

Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Great idea, and well stated. Especially the "alot invested here" part....

Monday, December 12, 2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Classic said...

_That's weird. One, two candidates maybe if you count smaller parties, but possibly all living outside a riding?!?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 7:12:00 AM  

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