EDITORIAL: Political work a balancing act

Just what is the job description of ‘elected representative’?

These positions generally don’t come with a manual, and there is no shortage of people who will tell you exactly how you should do it, in no uncertain terms.

It’s kind of like parenting. Win the big election, and then what?

A reader suggested Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon must have something better to do with his time than cut the ribbon on the big craft market in Parksville. And as soon as the words Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney-trip-Israel-Middle-East-unrest appear in a news story, our e-mail inbox fills rapidly.

Like anything else in life, perhaps it’s all about balance.

Cantelon and Lunney are duty bound to greet people, award people, mix with them at events. Neither carry heavy ministerial loads, so should be available for these kinds of things in their ridings.

It's a perfect opportunity to meet their constituents and get a good grasp of what is important to the voters and take those messages back to government.

The problem for Cantelon in particular, is many people are angry the legislature is not sitting right now. This leads to some frustration when voters see a Liberal MLA at a ribbon cutting.

We are rarely shy in this space when it comes to criticizing politicians, but are sympathetic when it comes to how they fill their calendars.

They cannot win.

If they are in Victoria or Ottawa too much, they are accused of being out of touch with their constituents. Cut a few ribbons and why aren't they at work?

We have yet to come across an MLA or MP who does not work enough hours. And with tens of thousands of  employers, Cantelon’s schedule isn’t going to make all of them happy.

But his contract with these employers is up for renewal every four years if anyone believes they can do a better job.


– PQ News

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