Yes this is another political post as we prep for the October 2015 Federal Election, and what most pundits here in Alberta are guessing to be a April 2015 provincial election. Now there has always been defections from elected officials parties, whether it is to sit as an independent, or life circumstances leading to an early resignation. The resignation will trigger a by-election usually mandated within 6 months of the seat being vacated.
In Alberta just before the end of 2014 the opposition was gutted with 13 Wildrose MLA’s crossing the floor to join the governing PC Party, one of the crossers had previously defected from the PC’s to the Wildrose. Prior to 2012 Liberal Leader Raj Sherman had crossed the floor from the PC’s.
Each time a defection or floor crossing happens there is righteous indignation, and choices made that the party they were elected under no longer fit their values. Which is fine.
The question as a voter that we need to raise is to remove the sting of the personal betrayal, remove the spin and actually open up a dialogue about what to do with an elected official who deems to leave the party they were elected in.
1) Status Quo can be held.
2) Allow a cooling off period where the elected official must serve out the remainder of the term as an independent then can seek nomination with whatever party they want to run under.
3) Automatically have a by-election triggered and treat the wanting to cross the floor as a resignation.
4) If there is a floor crossing, allow for recall legislation.
5) Your thoughts?
That is the key, what value do we place on the elected official as a person? As a party mascot? And what value do we place on the votes that placed them in the assembly?
These are questions to ask those running in your area and the party’s putting forward candidates. This election around, there is also the ballot commentary as you look at a floor crosser in your riding and decide if you agree with their new political home or not.