Everyone has the right to disagree

The fitness of an elected official is decided by the constituency through their vote

I read Steve Lombardo’s recent letter to the editor (‘Lunney and the court’, The NEWS, Feb. 17) with great interest, but I must disagree with the writer on two important points.

First, he somehow comes to the conclusion that if MP James Lunney disagrees with a specific court ruling, somehow that infers Lunney is “attacking the court” and that he also shows “disdain for the court.” In my opinion, such statements are patent nonsense.

Presumably, we live in a democracy where people, particularly our political leaders, are able to offer their opinions on various subjects and disagreements between honourable persons are not only encouraged but also represent a true strength of such democracies. Apparently, Lunney simply holds the belief that the court’s decision regarding the “right to die” was wrong according to his standards and he expressed that view.  I have not heard him make a single negative comment regarding the integrity of the court itself.

Many of us have disagreed with decisions made by our Supreme Court. As an example, many of my colleagues in the resource industry were appalled by the court’s decisions regarding aboriginal title rights because they firmly believe those decisions will weaken Canada’s ability to be self-sufficient in essential metals and materials — but all those I have spoken to have not in any way indicated disrespect for the court itself.

Second, Mr. Lombardo comes to the conclusion that Lunney is “not a fit representative for democracy.” I would only inform Lombardo that the fitness of an individual to hold office is decided by the electorate and for more than a decade within the federal riding of Nanaimo-Alberni, the electorate has cast more votes at each election for our present MP than for any other candidate of any other party.  Apparently, the electorate believes otherwise — and their votes are the ones that count.

Leonard M. Melman

Nanoose Bay

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