Editor, the Times:
It is hardly surprising that the call to "start fixing B.C.'s democratic deficit" has come not from the government or the official opposition, but from three independent MLAs, John van Dongen, Vicki Huntington and Bob Simpson.
This is to be expected because many of the current rules and practices concerning governance are designed to favour the political parties, not the citizens of our province.
We would all benefit from changes such as moving the date of the provincial election to autumn so the government is less able to use the spring budget to influence the vote. Allowing more free votes for MLAs could give them the courage and freedom to vote according to their conscience and the will of their constituents. Having Elections B.C. run leadership contests would help ensure the party would elect a capable leader.
Most of the six items on the independents' agenda have been suggested in the past, but neither the Liberals or the NDP have embraced them.
The track record of political leaders in B.C. over the past two decades is dismal.
Is it because of their resistance to constructive change that so many premiers, beginning with Bill Vander Zalm and Rita Johnston, have fallen on the ash heap of B.C. politics? Certainly it seems that the Liberals and the NDP don't have solutions or the will to implement them.
It is uncertain that the independents can bring about change. At the very least, though, we have to give them credit for trying.
Art Martens Hedley