That’s what every voter in Burnaby North-Seymour should be asking during this election campaign. And finding the candidates is easy – unless you’re looking for Conservative Mike Little.
Community organizations of all kinds – churches, seniors groups, student unions, charitable organizations – go to great lengths to set up and invite candidates to open meetings in their ridings. These grassroots events for all candidates are a time-honoured cornerstone of democratic elections. As a mark of respect, candidates generally do their best to attend these public forums and respond to constituents who’ve taken the time to be there.
Last weekend, Voices of Burnaby Seniors, a very active group in this riding, organized an all-candidates meeting for their membership and members of the community. The Conservative candidate wasn’t there. He wasn’t at the last public all-candidates meeting either – or the next one at Simon Fraser University. In fact, Mike Little hasn’t been present at any all-candidates events where he would have to respond to questions from the public, prompting this letter to a local newspaper by a concerned voter.
It’s the same story when journalists go looking for the Conservative candidate as they report on the riding. The Toronto Star tried in the early days of the campaign. And Burnaby Now. And CBC Radio, among others. Mike Little hasn’t been available for interviews, despite repeated tries.
In a final attempt to find out what Mr. Little stands for and how his campaign is going, the constituents of Burnaby North-Seymour might be tempted to go online. Turns out Mike Little isn’t really there either. His own website has no social media, and the only content on the Twitter feed of the Burnaby North-Seymour Conservative Association are retweets of comments by Stephen Harper and a few others Conservatives.
With this vanishing act, Mike Little shows the same disregard for the constituents of Burnaby North-Seymour that Stephen Harper has shown for Parliament, running rough-shod over democratic practices that have stood the test of time, because it doesn’t suit them.
One reporter recalls that Mr. Little was more accessible before the election writ was dropped. How strange. If becoming unavailable wasn’t Mr. Little’s decision, was it an edict delivered by Conservative national campaign headquarters? If that’s the case, ask yourself this question – How could voters of Burnaby North-Seymour ever expect Mr. Little to effectively represent them when his own voice has been silenced before the election campaign is even over?