We in Halton have been awfully spoiled. For the past two years we've had an MP who answered our calls, responded to our emails, listened to us and answered our questions in regular town hall meetings, let us make a mess on his blog, and gave us unprecedented insight into the inner workings of our government.
Now that Halton no longer has Garth Turner to kick around, our access to our representative in the House of Commons may have just become seriously curtailed. Call me sceptical, but I somehow doubt that Lisa Raitt will be running an open blog or holding many Town Hall meetings.
To compensate, I have started a new blog. It's called HaltonWatch.
In order for democracy to work, we must know what our elected representatives are doing - how they vote, what initiatives they put forward or support, which ones they oppose, and how they respond when contacted by their constituents. It means publicizing what they are doing on our behalf - the good and the bad - and letting their constituents hold them accountable.
HaltonWatch will be a forum for residents of Halton (the region, not just the riding) to find out what all of our representatives are doing. Not just our MP, but our provincial, regional and municipal representatives as well. It will also be a place to discuss issues of democracy and democratic reform in general. And... I don't know. We'll have to see what happens.
If you are Halton-based blogger, please consider joining the team. If you are a constituent, stay tuned. Who knows what might happen?