Independent MLAs calling for change
An open letter to all B.C. MLAs:
Time is running short to make a meaningful change in this legislative session that will address some of the public’s cynicism, as well as our own, about pre-election budgets. Together, let’s change the fixed election date to the fall, beginning in 2017.
Not passing the budget every fourth year means government and government-dependent agencies do not get spending authorization or know what their real budgets are until late summer. This type of financial uncertainty does not meet the public’s need for us to provide stable government.
We’ve proposed the first Tuesday of October as the new date for the 2017 election. Historically, governments were elected to a mandate of no more than five years. In order to facilitate four-year fixed-terms with fall elections, a four-and-a-half-year mandate for the next government is both reasonable and fair.
We owe it to British Columbians to address this issue. Let’s put partisanship aside and make the change now, in advance of the May election. This is the fairest time to change future election dates, because it negates any criticism that the date is being moved by the governing party for selfish reasons.
We respectfully ask you to lobby your leadership to change the fixed election date law in this session by bringing the issue up in your caucus and asserting your right as MLAs to shape the agenda of the legislature.
Let’s do the right thing so we can assure British Columbians that after the May 14th election their government will always operate on a budget that has met the test of Opposition scrutiny and a vote in the Legislature.
Vicki Huntington, MLA, Delta-South
Bob Simpson, MLA, Cariboo-North
John van Dongen, MLA, Abbotsford-South