Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Democratic Deficit: Holdover from Alberta's Eugenics Past?

27th November, 2010, Greg Weadick, MLA for Lethbridge West, told the Lethbridge Herald that he favours more local imput from the local health advisory councils. (Apparently, the one in Lethbridge doesn't hold many public meetings.) He added that he'll also be scheduling meetings to get citizen input.

A good start, maybe.

But Weadick and the rest of the Tory caucus know, the Alberta Health Services Superboard is not bound to take the advice of local advisory committees. And Weadick stopped short of advocating a return to the our province's political tradition of electing local hospital board trustees.

Why? The tradition of electing local hospital trustees (and education trustees, too) goes back to the roots of the province.

Is the Tory Caucus opposed to any citizen input they cannot control? And why do Albertans put up with the erosion of our democratic traditions?

Surely, the province's dark past, as home to the worst eugenics sterilization scandal in the British Empire (carried out at the bidding of an non-elected, out of control band of government appointees who did not even bother to follow the flawed dictates of Sexual Sterilization Act), suggests that we need more accountability to the electorate in our health system, not less.

If we aren't careful, the province's politicians will shut out the electorate when it comes to education, too. I predict that our local school boards will soon become the plaything of mandarins in Edmonton, too -- unless we stand up and say 'no'.

Let's reverse the trend.

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