The New Democratic Party’s Interim Leader Nycole Turmel needs to pick up a dictionary and learn some basic facts, such as the definition of “democratic”.
Taking great offense at two MPs who voted the will of their constituents and supported the government’s bill to kill the long gun registry, Dictator Tumel sanctioned Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty.
DEMOCRATIC: 1. of, relating to, or favouring democracy
DEMOCRACY: 1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
Acting more like former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff than Jack Layton, Nycole Turmel demands blind obedience to her will, raising once again the question of whether a Member of Parliament is the people’s representative to Ottawa, or Ottawa’s representative to the people.
Clearly Turmel believes it is the latter. MPs are her personal play-things, to be done with as she pleases and who will be punished if they disobey her every whim.
She stripped Hyer and Rafferty of their ability to make statements or ask in the House of Commons. I had no idea that a dictator-wannabe like Turmel could prevent an MP from doing their job, but apparently she can.
Nobody seems to be challenging her on this point, that much is certain.
The NDP’s so-called Justice Critic, Jack Harris, told reporters that both Hyer and Rafferty had been warned there would be “consequences” if they dared defy party dictates and voted the will of their constituents.
In addition to preventing them from asking questions or making statements in Parliament, the pair of Thunder Bay area MPs were also stripped of their critics roles, a move that also results in a reduction in their paychecks.
Nobody ever said that doing the right thing didn’t come at a price. I’m just grateful, as I’m sure the constituents they were elected to represent are, that these two men were willing to be the representatives of the people TO Ottawa, and not Ottawa’s representatives to their ridings in Thunder Bay.
Dennis Bevington, MP for Western Arctic, took the coward’s way out and abstained from the vote instead of showing his constituents he was a man with a backbone. Typical.
In a surprising show of cowardice from a man who has previously proven he could be respected is Nathan Cullen. He left the House of Commons before the vote so he wouldn’t have to make a decision between supporting his constituents and following the marching orders of his party’s leader.
I guess he doesn’t want to tarnish his leadership bid by doing anything that might suggest he will support his constituents, despite his repeated past votes to kill the long gun registry.
Anyone who knows me knows that I didn’t think much of Jack Layton. He was a opportunistic little media whore who would do practically anything to get a camera pointed at him.
The lone area where he appeared to show any real integrity was his steadfast refusal to force his MPs to vote the “party line” on issues like the gun registry. Instead he preferred to use back-room persuasion and bribery to get his way, but when he didn’t, he never held that against his MPs who chose to vote for the people who sent them to Ottawa in the first place.
Like I said, it’s not much to stand on, but at least Jack had, if nothing else, the appearance of integrity in this regard.
People want leaders with integrity, and sadly the current NDP dictator has proven she has none, and Nathan Cullen appears willing to follow her lead. That is very unfortunate.
The NDP appears to be heading for some very dark days indeed. Not, of course, that I think that’s a bad thing. What our nation needs is more men of integrity like Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty… men who are willing to do what is right even if it comes at a high personal cost.
Perhaps in the next federal election they won’t be running for the NDP, but instead as Independents or members of another political party.
That’s a slap in the face of current New Democratic Party dictator Nycole Turmel that I would dearly love to see!
don b says
Democracy is nothing but tyranny of the majority, reality is Canadians would lose there rights to own firearms of any kind, if there was a vote on the subject.
This is a spectacular article! I always marvel at how you can give the background and make your hard-hitting point in a 500-word editorial.
Interestingly, your article parallels one that I am presently preparing from my “I-Told-You-So-Files”, based on a moving speech given by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas titled “Be Not Afraid”.
‘Is it always necessary for something to be done about everything?’ is the question.
“If we think something is dreadfully wrong, then someone has to do something,” Thomas said. Pick your battles, then put up or shut up, he advised. “One might shut up when it doesn’t matter. But when it really counts, we are required to put up.”
His words reminded me of your two brave protagonists, NDP MPs Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty, who plunged ahead unafraid. It is not very often that we witness politicians of any party who stand by their promises to their constituents and do the right thing despite facing the heavy personal losses that befell them.