People have the right to replace a government

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

On Jan. 19, in this paper, Brendon Johnson claimed that “the people do not direct the government, they are the government.” While that statement sounds familiar and even good, is it accurate?

To some, it may be reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg speaking of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” To me, it smarts of the artful craft of Orwellian doublespeak, exemplified in my mind by the name of China’s government, the “Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.” We do not live in China, but one does not need to live in China to hear doublespeak or other forms of political corruption, for such corruption is seemingly universal.

For a correct understanding of our form of government, I would direct Mr. Johnson to review the following statement concerning the relationship between the people of B.C. and their provincial government, which is that “…we are here as their servants first, and that they are not the servants of the Legislature or of the public bodies …” That statement correctly delineates the proper relationship of the people of B.C. to the government — which is that of the practically silent but self-evident and pre-eminent role of master, to the servant.

So, to clarify, we the people are not the government since it is our creation, and it and its officials are our servants. For this clarification, we owe thanks to none other than Gordon Campbell himself from his comments on July 6, 1994, during the debate on the recall legislation itself.

Campbell also said that the government (at that time NDP) not listening to “80 per cent of the population” was a “slap in the face … for people across this province,” while he also suggested that collecting 10 per cent of the electorate’s signatures in a recall campaign was practically impossible. He argued strongly that the “recall legislation” was written by “politicians, of politicians and for politicians,” and complained about the three years it had taken to table the recall legislation, while last year he himself put the referendum date more than a year after the successful petition calling for the end to the HST.

Furthermore, during that debate, Campbell correctly called the 60 day/40 per cent terms of the recall initiative to be “onerous” and “to be as sure as possible that citizens don’t have that kind of access and don’t hold their elected representatives accountable.” He called the very referendum option he and the Liberals now offer the people of B.C. “flaccid” when they could have “created strong public policy that would have established accountability in the Legislature.”

It has taken 17 years for this doublespeak to come full circle, but when we see the leader of the province condemning himself by his own words, and his caucus and party ally themselves with him also, then we have the right, the obligation, even the sacred duty, to replace the government.

Campbell said: “They are tired of politicians who make promises before an election and do the exact opposite after.” Yes, Mr. Campbell, and also Mr. McRae, we are tired of politicians like you who do not understand the relationship between government and the people. Mr. McRae, since you won’t listen to the people, your masters, why not follow the pattern of your fearless leader Mr. Campbell and save us the trouble of recall?

But if not, we will use the “politicians’” legislation with all its “hurdles that are far greater than any of us would ever be able to jump over to get elected,” to elect you out. We will show you and your party that even though Mr. Campbell was so right on so many things on the floor of the legislature that day in 1994, he was also equally wrong on the petition not being able to be carried out successfully, and as Mr. McRae will find out in short order, that his leader was wrong about the recall initiative not ever being successful either.

Jason Draper,

Courtenay

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Campbell River 7-11 robbed at knifepoint

Police are looking for a man after the 7-11 on Dogwood Street… Continue reading

Marine trail planned for Discovery Islands

Agreements with First Nations vital for passage through traditional territories

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Police watchdog called to Kelowna after car destroyed in crash

A motor vehicle incident has closed Highway 33 in both directions

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

Most Read