an email i just sent to the Tory candidate for Edmonton-Sherwood Park who's had some past difficulties...
I'm going to start out by saying that I've previously worked directly in the House of Commons as well as for the OLO during the last year of the Alliance prior to the merger. I can confidently say that I belong to a certain minority of Canadians who has a well versed, if not a tad cynical, understanding of what actually goes on behind the scenes in Ottawa.
I'll ignore the whole debacle of the method in which Mr. Uppal's riding nomination was secured, as well as the recent discoveries that his financial morals and practices are somewhat questionable. In truth, I'm not the most informed on either of these issues as I'm currently at home in Sherwood Park for Thanksgiving during my reading break from my pursuit of a Master of Public Policy degree at Simon Fraser University.
My question, or comment if you choose to interpret it as such, revolves more around the proceedings and actions of MPs while physically in Ottawa. I'm sure Mr. Uppal has exemplary knowledge of this, as his website certainly makes it sound as such. I'm sure working closely with the CPC and former Alliance party has also given him insight as to what goes on during the majority of the time during proceedings in the House.
During the time I worked in Ottawa, I was frequently disturbed and often disgusted by the manner in which MPs would self-aggrandize, make deals, and act selfishly and entirely not in the interests of those Canadians who they were supposedly representing. I'll not single out a single party for an example as this occured with members from each. This is not representation that a democracy is built around. I'm sure it's easy enough to agree that an MP has a responsibility to act selflessly for the sake of his or her constituents.
I'm also sure that Mr. Uppal has a basic awareness of the general rules of proceedure in the House. This would obviosuly mean he would be aware of the number of MPs required to be rpesent in the Chamber to meet quorum. My first question: if elected, would Mr. Uppal sign an affadavit signifying his intention to inform the Speaker of lack of quorum whenever the number of MPs required are not present. Canadians are well aware of the media circus that is Question Period, but sadly, too few are aware that during debates a pathetically small number of MPs are actually present in the House. I've been present in the Chamber duing debates in which fewer than four MPs are present. If Mr. Uppal will not consent to this if elected, I would consider this an affront to the people of his riding as it shows an unwillingess to assure that Canadians are properly represented.
Secondly, not since the federal election of 1993 has the number of votes cast in Canada by percentage of the population been higher than 50%. The most recent federal election saw voter turnout at 47.2% when considered under the umbrella of total population. I find this more important that the voter turnout rate when measured by percentages of registered voters as the outcome of the election affects all Canadians, and not only those who are registered to vote. In any case, were you to measure this by means of voter turnout, the 36.3% percent the CPC received decreases substantially. MY second question: if elected will Mr. Uppal sign an affadavit to table a motion in the House that seeks to have the election results measured by Votes Cast as the Percentage of the total population, and if found to be under 50%, that the results be considered null and void as a majority of Canadians have not placed their trust in any representative.
Lastly, and directly dealing with our riding of Edmonton Sherwood Park, if elected will Mr. Uppal sign an affadavit signifying his intention to immediately request a by-election should his victory be secured by a total number of votes that is not above 50% of the total votes cast in the boundaries of the constituency. I'm of the mind that a victory in a multiparty system that sees a government put in place with a 36.3% vote rate should not be acceptable, and similarly neither should the population of a riding have their views represented by an individual who wins without securing a majority.
Should I receive a response to these questions that has not come directly from Mr. Uppal himself, I will be visiting his campaign office to make the same requests face to face. Should I be denied this, I will be making a formal complaint to both the CPC as well as Elections Canada.
As for the matter of the potential for these documents to be signed, I've enough contacts in legal business in Edmonton who would be more than willing to draft them up and be present to witness them be signed. I've also a number of contacts both inside the House of Commons as well as a variety of Party offices who will easily be able to inform me of the conditions in the Chamber in regards to m first request.
I take the matter of democratic representation very seriously, as should you, and I find no fault in my requests to ensure proper represenation for Canadians and participation by their MPs in House proceedings.
That said, best of luck in your campaign efforts, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.