News Views:Narrowing the view

Editorial by the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

The next NDP candidate in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows won’t be a straight, white man.

The current MLA for that provincial riding, Mike Sather, who fits that profile, is quitting politics.

The party’s equity rules require that his replacement be either a woman, member of an ethnic group, or gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered.

The NDP isn’t concerned about picking the best person for the job, just broadening its representation, a tactic to recruit support.

The leftist party isn’t concerned about how well it serves its constituents, which Sather – again, a straight, white man – has done rather well during his two terms in Victoria.

Sather was temporarily booted from the NDP caucus for opposing the Tsawwassen First Nation treaty because it removed protection of farmland – an admirable stand.

He was part of a coup that opposed former party leader Carole James’ leadership, ushering in Adrian Dix and breathing new life into the party.

And he remains an unwavering supporter of the environment.

For his efforts, Sather drew thanks and praise for his dedication to his beliefs and constituents.

Elizabeth Rosenau, a Maple Ridge woman who intends to seek the NDP nomination in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, isn’t a fan of affirmative action, but believes in the importance of having diverse representation.

But at the expense of a job well done? Did Mr. Sather not represent all his constituents? Who’s to say Ms. Rosenau would do it better?

The NDP’s equity rules are discriminatory.

The constituents of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows deserve the best representation possible, as those do in any riding.

The NDP’s equity policy only excludes such potential candidates.

Offer incentives to attract a diverse array of candidates instead, or a better platform.

But selection should be on merit, rather than handing the job to someone.

Let the best man or woman, gay or straight, minority or not, win.


– The News