Surrey First councillor Barinder Rasode goes independent. But why do civic political parties even exist? Analysis.

Councillor Barinder Rasode’s departure from Surrey First raises questions about the very existence of political parties at the civic level. Should they be discouraged, banned, or even punished by voters? Are they bad for democracy?

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Surrey First thank you photo surreyfirst-ca The airwaves were buzzing today with news that Barinder Rasode , an elected councillor on Surrey City Council , has left the ruling civic party “ Surrey First.  Her e-mail, published in The Now Newspaper , says “there is a systematic failure of process at City Hall , and in order to adequately address this issue, I have decided to sit as an Independent on Council.” Rasode give three issues she finds troubling, “both personally and professionally: 1. The approach taken toward public safety and fighting crime. 2. Spending at City Hall. 3. Community consultation.”

Media coverage so far has focused on the internal friction and speculation on possible political power games and strategies at play.

But we should really be asking this: Why does Surrey First exist at all? For that matter, why do Vision Vancouver, the Non-Partisan Association, COPE, and the Burnaby Citizens Association exist? Why do some municipalities even have political parties?

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