New West candidates aren't being upfront about endorsements

Dear Editor:

As a matter of interest, I scanned your online candidate profiles to seek clarity on their affiliations as I understand that the current "slate" of incumbent city council candidates have all been endorsed by the New Westminster and District Labour Council/NDP alliance or "machine."

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In a surprising display of candour, Coun. Lorrie Williams hasn't forgotten her NDP affiliation and Coun. Bill Harper proudly trumpets his labour council endorsement from his bully pulpit. But what of the others -  especially those wearing the "independent" moniker like a shield. Others are "n/a" (not accountable?).

In politics,  an "independent " (noun) is defined as "a person who votes for candidates, measures, etc., in accordance with his or her own judgment and without regard to the endorsement of, or the positions taken by, any party."

It sounds simple, but if we look deeper into the definition of the word "independent" (adjective), I found the following three of seven definitions that might be used as a test of the veracity of those claiming the mantel of independence notwithstanding their seeking and getting the "machine's" endorsement.

First, "not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc. ; thinking or acting for oneself." It occurs to me that to gain an endorsement candidates appeared in front of a panel to have their platforms screened or vetted. Doesn't such screening violate this definition?

Second, "not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free." The violation of this criteria has already been exposed in showing that the "district" labour includes folks beyond New Westminster jurisdiction and that the NDP is a federal and provincial political party whose money, personnel and "machine" should not be interfering in municipal politics.

Third,  "not relying on another or others for aid or support." But aren't the labour/NDP endorsed candidates garnering money and robo-call telephone bank support from the "machine?"

In short, independence means "no strings attached." For all those candidates claiming to be independent and still seeking/accepting NDP/district labour endorsements: Your nose is growing and you should be awarded "three Pinocchios" for your non-disclosure of these important strings on your candidacy - strings that lead back to those trying to maintain their strangle-hold on New West city purse strings.

The electorate aren't fooled, even if you try to make the strings invisible through non-disclosure. You can run, but you can't hide.

E.C. "Ted" Eddy, Coquitlam

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