Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why going to see your government representative might actually work!

Once upon a time, someone told me that members of government have a rule of 10. That is, for every 1 person they hear from on an issue, they assume there are 10 more like them who just haven’t bothered to contact their government. So, it follows that if 10 people show up in a government office, the MLA will assume there are 100 people in their riding with similar views/issues. Some ridings are won or lost by one or two hundred votes.

Consider, for example, Saskatoon Fairview riding in 2016: Jennifer Campeau of the SK Party won over NDP’s Vicki Mowat by 182 votes. Fast-forward to now: if Jennifer Campeau gets 10 visitors promising to take their votes elsewhere over the wage rollback mandate of her party, she’s going to assume at least 100 people are shopping for a new MLA. If I were her, that would be cutting it too close to losing my job in the next election, so I’d go back to Regina and say “No thanks, Brad. I’m not going to push this rollback thing any further.”

Take it one step further: Saskatoon has 14 ridings. That is nearly one quarter of the seats in the legislature. If all 14 MLAs go back to Regina for the next session, saying “we don’t like this mandate and we won’t push it on our constituents,” then is it really out of the realm of possibility that the government might actually listen to the people and back off? Obviously the libraries won their battle with this government. I think we can too.

Find the location of your MLA’s office (here) and write down what you want to say. Maybe you have more concerns than just the current collective bargaining process. Make a phone call or an appointment, or get a group of people together to make an appointment if you don’t want to go alone. However you want to do it: just go and talk to your MLA.  If you don't, after this is all over, you can’t honestly say you did do everything you could to change it. You can’t say you fought to hold this government accountable for their own mistakes.  They don't want to hear from us, but they need to, they represent us, not Brad Wall.

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