Sunday, September 28, 2008

How can she ever be our “Go To person” if she won’t even come to see us?

Much was made last year when Prince George MP Dick Harris named Houston Mayor Sharon Smith as the delegated "Go To" Person for Skeena- Bulkley Valley residents wishing for direct contact with the Conservative government.

It caused quite the controversy at the time, as it seemed to usurp the role of advocate of the riding from the duly elected Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen and shuffle it off to a Conservative appointee. Once all the dust had settled, the media stories died down and the necessary inquiries about Mr. Harris' suggestion were made , not much more was mentioned afterwards of the "Go To" Person in Houston and her mission from the east.

However, the staging was obviously in place then for Mrs. Smith’s eventual candidacy in the federal election, which finally was called in early September. At which point we thought that the "Go To" person would come and see us and explain all that she could possibly do for the residents of this vast tract of land called Skeena- Bulkley Valley.

But now we hear, through an aside in a Daily News column on Thursday which seems to back up the story ciruclating locally, that Mrs. Smith has apparently chosen not to attend the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce’s candidate’s debate in October.
The always highly anticipated and well attended event locally, is scheduled for October 9th and will take place at the Lester Centre of the Arts at 7 pm.
As in the past, it should provide local residents with the opportunity to learn more about each party’s platforms (well almost all parties platforms we guess), the many promises that politicians tend to make at this time of the electoral cycle and perhaps even be able to ask a few questions.

If indeed skipping out on the debate proves to be her final decision, it will be a very disappointing turn of events. Leaving many in the riding to wonder why Mrs. Smith has chosen not to respect the residents of the North Coast, and take advantage of the opportunity to come and provide them with some information and possible answers to their questions about the Conservatives platform and plans should they form a government again.

While the polling numbers may not be in her favour as far as this side of the riding goes, the residents and maybe even her local supporters perhaps deserved a little more in the way of attention. And if nothing else, the democratic process certainly deserves a bit more respect than skipping out on a public forum suggests.
It's an interesting electoral strategy to step aside and avoid one of the larger communities in the riding and leave the debate to the other parties, refusing in a way to deliver the agenda of her party and her leader and show that the Conservatives really do have an interest in the North Coast.

We wonder if this means that if Mrs. Smith is elected, one will have to live east of Remo before they can expect any interest and follow up from a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Perhaps if Mrs. Smith should somehow be the fortunate one to be elected to Parliament, then we really will need a go to person after all.

One, to go to the person that was advocating to be our “Go To” person in the first place….

No comments: