LETTER: Macdonald question should be answered by plebiscite

Canada is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy.

Canada’s democracy protects the right to free speech and lawful assembly for all citizens; and be sensitive to the voices of minorities. During elections we vote for like-minded people and parties in the hopes that our “team” will win a majority and form government. All levels of these governments can be influenced by thought provoking ideas; and public opinion can be swayed by lobbyists; who come in all forms, shapes and sizes. That is how a democratic nation raises the bar; by inviting and giving voice to all viewpoints.  Note that democracy is not served when a position is exerted via “outrage blogging, guilt-shaming and self-serving twitter mobs whose motto is generally, “if you are not on our side, then you are on the wrong side.”

I certainly get what protesting is all about. A wrong is perceived and change is desired.

Indeed, I was a teen during the ’60’s  peace movement. We were an entitled group with mainly not-bad-off parents and a cash-rich government. We had the luxury of taking to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam. (An entitlement incidentally, that was due in-part to the establishment of a great confederation a hundred years earlier). Which brings us to the John A. MacDonald question. I don’t see how a working group of four or five appointees can arrive at a decision that truly represents the entire general voting public. I believe that many county-people who are putting in hard work-days; dealing with income-loss and trying to stay safe see this particular issue as noteworthy; however down on the list of things to do something about. It is likely that few will make an effort to contact the working group or go to a meeting in order to voice an opinion. It is very possible that certain active and well-organized groups will indeed be expressing their concerns which is their right.

Will a decision that truly represents the majority of county residents be arrived at? I think not!

Especially since the working group are not elected officials and they are not bound to heed the opinions of those who put them in office. It is my opinion that an issue such as this-that can potentially change the fabric of the county- should be decided by popular vote.

For example, a plebiscite or proposition could be appended to the ballot of the next municipal election.The working group can be charged with word-smithing optional proposals. The lobbyists on all sides can then spend the interim influencing the electorate.

I believe the PEHAC John A. MacDonald Working Group should not be charged with deciding this statue’s fate. That decision should be democratically arrived at by the popular vote.

Michael McConnell

Picton