A true representative
Regardless of your views on the government or if it should have fallen or not, Chuck Cadman's votes for the budget bills (and thus save the government from non-confidence) was a true reflection of what an MP should be: beholden to the collective will of his constituents.
Chuck's druthers would have had him vote aging the Liberal government. He was elected as an Alliance MP before running as an independent (and winning handily) in his North Surrey riding. After hearing the 'please no election' views of his community, he voted against his own wishes and for his party. His party is the people.
This is representative democracy and it is behavior I applaud.
I once mused about forming a party called the United independents that would be an amalgam of independent candidates only for the purposes of party status, logistics and pooled funding. Each member would be held to a common and public code of conduct and method of operation but the salient feature would be that each vote the United Ind. MP made in the house would be to the stated and public will of his/her constituents according to a scientific sample of the voter's list of that riding.
A vote is scheduled. The riding office presents unbiased views for and against. The voters of the riding submit their views on that vote. The threshold of statistical validity is passed (or not) and the MP votes according to the mandate of his/her public. In the event of an indeterminate riding result the MP can draw on the typical history of the riding and or the personal views of the MP.
This could be achieved in person at the office or in malls town squares or via the web or by phone or fax. Whatever. A riding that has this system would quickly grow accustomed to it.
On the campaign trail, what voter would not like to hear "I will be your representative. I will vote how you tell me."
This breaks down only if the United independents are asked to form government.
Well, there are pitfalls and false logic sure but it it is a new idea to me.
Answer the question: would you vote for a canditate running under the above stated mandate?