LETTER: Federal election not a popularity contest

Letter writer urges voters to know issues, parties

The federal election is a hiring process, not a popularity contest.

I am going to vote for the candidate who has experience in municipal and federal government and whose party has a solid platform that addresses issues from environmental protection to promoting mental health in First Nations communities and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Naturally, climate change and the environment are priorities for people who want a future for their children and grandchildren.

ALSO READ: Federal candidates hear Greater Victoria priorities at listening session

No party has a monopoly on understanding the issues or caring. Please check out each party’s platform. You might be surprised to find important issues that you had not considered but that will matter to Canadians.

Looking after the local constituents means having an experienced and energetic staff in the local office to help residents deal with branches of the federal government or direct them to another office for help.

It means knowing the interface between federal, municipal, and provincial jurisdictions and knowing programs and grants relevant to the constituency.

Working across party lines to get results for Canadians is not a new idea. Parliamentary committees, when in place and working well, represent the opposition parties as well as the party in power. Committee members have the backing of their party’s caucus. They work to implement their party’s platform but accept compromise to get the job done.

Integrity and solid research are key to good government. The bills that have gone through committees are the ones that come to the floor of the House and include private member’s bills such as the zero waste bill and the tanker ban recently approved by the Senate.

MPs aren’t “whipped.” They vote as they understand the bills they help to craft.

Heather Phillips, Sooke

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