Letter to the editor 1, Sept. 28, 2017

Political parties at the municipal level

Dear Editor,

As the 2017 municipal elections loom closer, it is critical that voters consider the impact of their vote especially when it comes to candidates that are part or members of political parties at the local level. Most of the Canadian provinces don’t allow political parties to exist at the municipal level – Quebec and BC being the exceptions.

The thought behind the ban is mostly associated with democracy – or the lack thereof – when your city councillor is bound by party lines and not by his or her role as a duly represented official elected to represent his or her constituents. The role of a city councillor is mainly to listen, be available and when able respond to the issues, comments, and suggestions of the citizens of his or her district and act accordingly.

Where is the democracy when an elected official will be forced to vote along party lines without taking into account the needs and requirements of the individuals they represent?

In larger cities that have 50, 60 or more elected officials, there may be a role for political parties but in smaller towns and cities that have nine or seven elected officials, political parties have no democratic purpose and should be avoided at all costs.

Opt instead for strong independent candidates that can truly represent you at City Council.

Paul Lavigne

St. Lazare

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