A wonderful thing called democracy

A wonderful thing called democracy I'm a little perplexed by a summation of the problem the Yukon Party has with the final recommended plan for the Peel.

I’m a little perplexed by a summation of the problem the Yukon Party has with the final recommended plan for the Peel. I believe they are saying it would “tie their hands” in their ability to govern? Now why would they say that? There’s this wonderful thing called democracy, which, it seems to me, makes governing very easy.

It shouldn’t be necessary to keep explaining the basic tenets of democracy to this government. But, again, look up the meaning of democracy in any dictionary. You will always get something like, “A form of government in which political power resides in all the people.” Representational democracy, which is what I believe we practise, means we elect representatives to carry out the will that “resides in all the people.” Pretty clear and straightforward.

I realize there are major decisions to be made by governments – budgets to be created and balanced, programs developed, infrastructure spending, etc. But any and all decisions have to be within the framework of the will of the people.

I am far from an expert, but years back, when it looked like big forestry was headed north with their feller-bunchers, I studied as best I could alternative sustainable forestry practices. A concept I kept coming across was an insightful, forward-thinking system of land-use planning. The underlying purpose was the development of a sustainable resource economy by ensuring the protection of the landscape. If the production system of the natural capital is not being protected, the economy is not sustainable.

The paramount principle to all these planning systems is that decisions of what to protect are decided by the populace at large, through extensive public consultation. This invariably grows public acceptance of the land use plan as people see their input actually taken seriously.

Kind of sounds like the workings of representational democracy, wouldn’t you say? Civil society in action.

There is no doubt that the final recommended plan for the Peel is the quintessential model of these principles. It relied on consultation and took the input of all sectors of society seriously. In pure democratic form, it was compromised to include resource development, while still protecting the biological structure of the landscape. You will not find a more clear and democratic statement of the will of the people. It is a most beautiful example of the expression of civil society.

No, Premier Darrell Pasloski, your hands are not tied at all from governing – by the tenets of the democratic process. If you feel your hands are tied, its because you wish to govern dictatorially, against the will of the people. That is why your government is in court. Instead, you wish to tie the hands of civil society, the very expression of democracy itself. If you wish to be remembered for at least one civil act before you are voted out of office next year, Mr. Pasloski, stop wasting our hard earned tax dollars and accept the final recommended plan.

Jim Borisenko

Tagish Lake

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