The regrettable early prorogation of Parliament was so disappointing to us that we are sending this letter to all of the political parties involved in it, in the hope that if you hear enough complaint you will see the necessity of amending your party's behaviour. Our organization, Lanark Health and Community Services, works in a rural community where, at the best of times, poverty and the illnesses caused by poverty are prevalent. In a time of economic downturn, when the most urgent business of the government should be protecting its citizens, you failed to do so.
We are a community governance board of an organization whose purpose is to provide health care and support to people at risk. Some years ago we decided to manage ourselves not by Robert's Rules, a method that sometimes encourages an adversarial approach, but by consensus. This method requires that we work together, that we hear each other out and that we strive to reach an agreement that is at least acceptable to all of us. It works best when we trust one another to be honest, straightforward and flexible. We make it work because to do so serves the interests of the people to whom we are responsible.
While we do not believe that you will abandon hundreds of years of Parliamentary tradition, we do believe that you should adopt some, at least, of the attitude that we find serves us best. The people of Canada need representatives who care more about the welfare of the country than they do about their own status and personal agendas. Representatives who will set aside an adversarial approach and work together.
We earnestly hope that when Parliament reconvenes all members can decide to do the work for which they were elected and cooperate in the interests of the people of Canada.
Note: this is the first draft of a letter that we actually sent to all of the Party Leaders after the mess last fall. We got one answer, from the Liberal leader, saying he was pleased to hear our views, obviously a form letter. But it made us feel better to send it.