Opinion: Working with other parliamentarians is a duty, not an option.

I see many a person or politician say that they wouldn’t work with opposition parties or candidates purely based on the colour of their rosette or personal opinions. I’m sorry but I just don’t understand that mentality – but then again I am independent, not someone subject to a party whip.

You can question it if you like, but for me, once you are elected, my view is that you have a duty and responsibility to work with those across the aisle from you. It shouldn’t be regarded as something that is optional. If you are fortunate enough to bestowed with the honour of being the voice for the sovereign people of your constituency or region, you have also been bestowed the responsibility to work with others. Doing so is not an endorsement of their personal politics or the politics of their party in other areas.

For me, as an independent, it’s made easy for me, I only have to judge each policy or piece of legislation on its own merits and through the lens of a single question: “will this help or hinder the people I am representing?”. If the answer to that question is the first one, then support it with every fibre of my being, if it is the latter, speak out and question it – but most importantly, project the voice of those that you represent, not your own personal bias.

I hate elections (which might seem strange considering I am standing for election) because it has the habit of bringing the worst out in people and devolving into a mudslinging contest. This is why I would rather stay out of the “he said, she said” of politics. What I want to see after the electorate is consensus, and while that can’t always be achieved, the effort of trying speaks volumes. You might try and fail, but your own personal bias is not an excuse for never trying.

I do have red lines, but on other things I am maliable and open to a free exchange of information and ideas, of cooperation, and of consensus.

Give me a policy that benefits the people I represent and you will have my ear – that’s how I will be seeking to work if elected next week. Period.


Email : martin@martinjkeatings.com

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