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October 28, 2017 12:56 am

When did Doherty cross the floor?

Thursday, December 31, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips

Received my first official mail-out from new Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty this week.

It certainly didn’t take him long to get into the swing of things and do his part to keep those door-to-door mail carriers working. Other than the fact the flyers are  a complete waste of taxpayers’ dollars to produce and distribute, Doherty’s was mostly inoffensive. A direct contrast to the highly-partisan crap his predecessor used to like to foist on us.

Doherty’s first mail-out was a calendar with the flags of the provinces on it. I didn’t really need another calendar, much less pay for one, but whatever.

One thing did catch my eye though.

In the flyer there is a nice message from Doherty, wishing everyone well. Nice stuff, except that it was signed: “Hon. Todd Doherty.”
I’m assuming that the “Hon.” is meant to be an abbreviation for ‘Honourable,” but it could be Honey or maybe Honky Cat, but I’ll go with Honourable.
While MPs quite often refer to each other in the house as the “honourable member from Palookaville,” the official designation “Honourable” is reserved, primarily, for members ( past and present)
of the Privy Council, which is basically cabinet. Once given the title,  it remains for life.
So unless Doherty crossed the floor and was named to cabinet without anyone noticing, he’s got a HONkin’ typo on his first flyer. I doubt whether it is anything more than a rookie mistake, but one that must be corrected.
I’ve never really like the ‘Honourable’ designation for cabinet members anyway. Just because you’re named to cabinet, doesn’t mean you’re honourable.
Lots of angst this week over the Liberal government nixing any thoughts of holding a referendum on suggested electoral changes.
The Liberals have stated that parliament can be the final say on changes. Many pundits, including 250News’ Peter Ewart, are adamant that’s not good enough and a referendum must be held. There are some compelling reasons, mainly that the preferential ballot system favoured by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blatantly favours the Liberals.
Under that system, voters rank their preferences among candidates, with second and third choices being counted until one candidate has a majority of votes (50 per cent plus one). Given that the Liberals would likely be the second choice of many voters, that system favours the Liberals.
One the flip side; isn’t a government that is the No. 1 choice of 40 per cent of the country and No. 2 of 30 per cent of the voters more representative of the populace than a government that gets 41 per cent of No. 1 votes and 10 per cent of the No. 2 votes?
I don’t believe that a referendum is necessary if, and it’s a big if, the Liberals handle electoral reform properly. When I say properly, I mean don’t let the politicians decide (which is the main reason many want a referendum).
Strike a truly non-partisan group that is representative of the entire country to hammer out electoral changes. When B.C. went about this a few years back, we did it right. Two people were picked, at random, from each riding in the province to form the group (that would be tough federally with 338 ridings, but choose laypeople, not political operatives, supporters, or spin doctors.
The group will present a preferred system and parliament, after rigorous national debate, can either approve the changes or reject them, but it cannot tinker with them. In addition, the vote must be a free vote.
As for electoral changes; as mentioned Trudeau likes preferential balloting, the NDP likes the mixed member proportional system, and the Conservatives favour first-past-the-post.
Ironically, the single transferable vote system, narrowly rejected by British Columbians in a referendum, is a kind of hybrid of preferential balloting and mixed member proportional voting.
The problem with our system isn’t so much how we elect people (although I like the idea of preferential balloting), it’s with what happens once we elect governments. The biggest problem with our system is the near-absolute power given to the party holding the majority (the old ‘we elect dictatorships and change dictators every few years’).
If we are to truly have electoral reform, then that is the issue that must be addressed.
Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com


Just some quick thoughts on the subject.

I thought Todd Doherty’s flier was great. Refreshing not to have an ideological Christmas news letter from the local MP. The 2016/17 calendar and the provincial motto’s was useful and helpful.

As for the liberals plans for electoral change… if it was referendum the urban centers would be choosing how we elect governments and the rural areas would loose their direct representation to proportional representation. I like the Alternate vote process of preferential ballots because it keeps one MP representing a single riding and requires a majority to get elected, so I have no problem with a process that gets that as an end result.

I disagree that it would favor the liberals, although it may have this last election, but we would never know until voters actually got to have a preferential ballot. They may change their first choice on the ballot to an independent. I think it favors independents and takes away from party control. At least thats how its played out elsewhere where it was used including in BC to elect the socred government in 53 I think it was. At the time the BC liberals thought the new process would favor them as the second choice and the socreds ran right up the middle with a majority support.

The biggest problem in politics is the money that controls the party system and its top down control over our elected officials. A preferential ballot mitigates that somewhat handing more control back to the voter and the middle majority. I suspect voter turn out would increase substantially with freedom to choose on a ballot, rather than the manufactured vote splitting we get with first past the post.

As Todd’s twin Homer was heard to say….DOH !!

Elaine- why do yo uprit crap like this editorial.

Bald Eagle…because she can.

I think that this mailout was a total waste of money and a cheap copycat of a previous mp

so far I don’t think Todd Doherty has one single idea of his own… i might be wrong but I don’t think so. I guess one has to do what one has to do to pay back the donors of political donations.

BCracer. Give the man a break. He has only been on the job for 70 days. He has done more than the last idiot we had in for over 7000 days.

He is going to make more mistakes… why because he is doing something.

A person that does not make mistakes never learns, nor does anything.

Bill phillips, not your best written report on O250. Bit scattered in your thoughts.

I do think they should have a referendum on which electoral system we should use. But FPTP should not be an option on it!

Still waiting for Trudeau to sit down at his desk and get to work. But that’s what we get for electing a celebrity priminister. Like any silver spooned child. They have no idea where money comes from. Just put the card in the machine and money comes out.

Geez Bill , you spoiled one of the biggest laughs since the election . I was hoping he would get it tatted on his chest before someone in Ottawa pointed it out . Let’s hope he doesn’t read twofivezero amongst all the other things he obviously doesn’t read .

Bill, Happy New Year! The man made a small mistake, let’s not make a big deal out of it! He is a rookie. He will settle into his role as a back bench opposition MP. As such he can’t do much good – or bad, come to think of it!

@ Prince George

“The man made a small mistake, let’s not make a big deal out of it”

This may be a small mistake, yet one that demonstrates one of two things… lack of attention to detail, or ignorance. Both are traits I would rather not see in a local representative.


Dr. John

(ok… I am not actually a doctor, and my name is not John… but no big deal)

‘Other than the fact the flyers are a complete waste of taxpayers’ dollars’ – Funny, I feel the same way about the 25000 Syrians being brought over, by your Liberal gods.

There’s only one reason why the citizens won’t be given the chance to vote on the proposed change to the voting process.

He knows it won’t pass.

For an even bigger laugh view Vladimir Putins 16, 17 , calendar . It a cross between cult and creepy .

Phillips, your red underwear is showing again!

It does seem like a rather petty thing to focus on. I can see a joke or a mention, but an entire article? Seems a bit much to me. Mustn’t be allot of other stuff floating around to write about.

Dick must’ve trained Todd for the job.

“Funny, I feel the same way about the 25000 Syrians being brought over, by your Liberal gods”

Initiated by your con gods.

So why is this hypocrite using door to door mail service to spread his political propaganda seeing how his party tried so hard to get rid of it?

F-150 because he can . A little Christmas cheer for the printers and everyone up that food chain . Ho Ho Ho .

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