Does Rice’s vote matter?

Those who argue that MLA Jennifer Rice’s vote in the Legislature means nothing may have just had their arguments validated by ... Rice

Those who argue that North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice’s vote in the Legislature means nothing may have just had their arguments validated by … North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

Responding to criticism about her absence during the final vote on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project development agreement, Rice stated in a comment on thenorthernview.com:

“The BC Liberals have a majority in government and therefore win every second vote in the house. There may be an anomaly I have not thought of but I believe they have won every single vote in the legislature in the last ten years.”

Think about that for a second.

The NDP MLA for the riding just basically said her absence or presence in the Legislature during this vote was completely inconsequential because the Liberals were going to win anyway.

I understand keeping a commitment to the Wuikinuxv people, I really do. To cancel a commitment to them would have been saying they are less important than other constituents in the riding, something that is neither fair nor factual. But steering the conversation toward the fact that the final vote was a forgone conclusion irks me to no end.

Using that logic, there is no reason for MLA Rice to vote on anything in the Legislature ever again. She can show up, put in her two cents during the debate and leave before the vote because the Liberals are going to win anyway.

Using that logic, Nathan Cullen should win with 100 per cent of the vote in the fall. He has won every election in the past 10 years so, after choosing a candidate, there is no reason for Liberal or Conservative supporters to vote.

It’s flawed logic that spits in the face of the reason people elect an MLA. Win, lose or draw, and according to Rice the NDP can’t win any vote in the Legislature, constituents expect their vote to be registered for the record.

Steering the conversation toward the fact that the vote of the riding’s MLA is inconsequential unless the MLA is part of a majority government is a slap in the face to constituents.