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LETTERS: Petitions are a symptom of a problem

Editor:

Re: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process, Dec. 10

Regarding the comment by John Arendt, the editor of the Summerland Review, I think the headline should have read “Petitions show faith in the democratic process.”

Arendt feels the petitions are “deeply disturbing” and “a disregard for the governing process in Canada.”

He says that representatives are elected to consider and discuss issues using a “democratic process” and then goes on to say “a party’s platform is a matter of personal opinion.”

Does this mean that, once elected, these leaders and their decisions can only be challenged by a system that is designed to encourage attrition?

Many people who have tried to get resolution through a bureaucratic process quickly become frustrated and discouraged. And it is no surprise that what we are promised at election time usually is not what is delivered.

Petitions have effectively changed the course of many bad decisions by leaders in the past.

The claim that 60,000 signatures on a petition is insignificant is preposterous.

For every signature on that petition there are probably hundreds who didn’t sign.

Petitions are a symptom of a problem. Petitions help bring to the attention of those who are otherwise complacent.

A democracy needs everyone’s involvement to work.

Right or wrong, petitions are a tool to safeguard a true democracy.

Guy Shaddock, Surrey

GovernmentLetter to the Editor