David Wilks clarifies himself - Macleans.ca

David Wilks clarifies himself


Before releasing his official statement yesterday, David Wilks apparently clarified himself to an audience in Cranbrook.

“I support the budget, I support what’s in the budget, and I believe we should move forward with it,” he said. However, he soon tempered that statement by saying he didn’t agree with every one of the 60 items in the 400-page document, referring to the duty-free limits specifically. “I may not agree with everything in this book. I can say I don’t like the tax exemption, but it’s irrelevant because it’s in the book. Taking it out of here is not happening,” said Wilks.

He admitted that he had heard from the Prime Minister’s Office after making the comments in Revelstoke, which were captured by a reporter at the Revelstoke Times Review and by a spectator who recorded video of Wilks’s statements and posted it to YouTube. “You may not agree with all the policies but you have to pick and choose your battles. This is one I choose not to pick,” he said.

And what of how Ottawa works?

“Ottawa is run by a ton of 20-something bureaucrats who know that in three years my term is up and they will still be there,” he said.

He explained to the gathered business owners that MPs are expected to vote as a party rather than as an individual. “If you don’t vote the way the party votes, you will be an independent the next day,” said Wilks. “When you tell me to vote against it, I can’t unless you want an independent MP.” He also said that he would quit rather than vote against the budget. “We do things to piss off the NDP, and they do things to piss us off. Because it’s a bloodsport. Is it right? No, but that’s the way it is,” he said.


David Wilks clarifies himself

  1. How does he think he earns that $150,000 plus per year he’s paid? What does he think he’s supposed to be doing — is he just there to piss off the NDP? Good grief.

    • Blood sport? I thought it was meant to be public service.

  2. Is it right? No, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
    And it will keep right on being not right until individual MPs like him do something about it. My breath is not being held on that.

  3. What kind of performance review does a guy who, after just his first year (he would be on probation in many professional jobs for that long) admits that despite being well-paid to represent a group of people, he does not think he should pick doing that as a hill to die on, what kind of review has he earned?

    I saw him on TV invoke Canadian voters to express how they feel. I think that is what his constituents were trying to do — so he’s saying there’s no purpose to meet with our MPs. And so who are we to turn to then? And shouldn’t that person be paid the MPs salary? Voted rep has no power and says so aloud.

  4. If your MP has not made the case on your behalf of your riding to their party caucus then you are not a MP you are just a rubber stamp for Ottawa.

    Vote for a messenger next time vote NDP.

  5. The situation of Conservative MP David Wilks expressing concerns about the federal omnibus budget bill is a perfect example of the dangerously undemocratic problems of excessive party leader control, the lack of a requirement to set out a clear, specific election platform, and the lack of a clear definition of what are votes of confidence in Parliament.

    The Conservatives’ 2011 election campaign did not mention, let alone propose, changes to environmental assessment laws (although the Speech from the Throne did).

    And while votes to approve or reject spending bills are clearly votes of confidence, shouldn’t it be made clear that votes on whether to split off parts of a budget bill that have nothing to do with spending are not confidence votes.

    And, therefore, shouldn’t it also be made clear that Prime Minister Harper has no right to require Conservative MPs to vote for a budget bill that changes non-spending laws? And that the PM has no right to kick an MP out of the Conservative Party if s/he votes against such an omnibus budget bill?

    In a democracy, MPs are supposed to hold the executive (Cabinet ministers) accountable and represent voter interests, not be completely controlled by ministers and party leaders.

    If MPs from all parties would simply work together, they could throw off their undemocratic chains by passing a bill that clearly restricts their leaders’ powers in many ways, and contains clear rules requiring honest, specific election platform, and democratic legislative processes and votes.

    No party leader would dare speak out against such a bill. So what are you waiting for MPs? The country is 145 years old — get it together already and pass a bill to finally free yourselves, and all of us, from the tyranny of political party leaders and the abuses of our undemocratically vague election and parliamentary processes.

    Duff Conacher, Board member of Democracy Watch http://democracywatch.ca
    Spokesperson for Your Canada, Your Constitution

  6. “No one cares, Figgis, you’re only invited to round out the numbers.”
    – Ray Gillette, Archer

  7. “Ottawa is run by a ton of 20-something bureaucrats who know that in three years my term is up and they will still be there,”

    You know, Mr. Wilks, perhaps if you refrained from telling your constituents that their opinions mean something between jack and squat when they differ from the party, you might have had a term longer than the remaining three years.