And now a word from the Vauxhall Advance

The opinion of the small town southern Alberta media elite

This week’s editorial from the editors of the Vauxhall Advance in Vauxhall, Alberta (pop. 1,288).

If a backbench MP has been reduced to being told by their party and leader what to say, what to do, and when to rise in the House to read carefully-scripted and approved statements — all at the business end of a party bull whip — then the doctrine of party discipline is being taken to extremes to which it was never originally intended.

In reality and in practice, that sort of extreme — which appears to be increasingly present in Ottawa — is little more than a subversion of democracy, couched in all the trappings of what our system is supposedly devoted to preserving, but lacking any of the real essence of choice or freedom of opinion. Democratic to the casual eye, semi-authoritarian in practice.