The Citizen invited local candidates in the June 2 election to tell voters what they hope to do for the riding if elected. Today: Chris Beauchamp of the None of the Above party, who is running in Carleton riding.

My name is Dr. Chris Beauchamp, and I am the candidate for the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party in the Carleton electoral district. When it comes to politics, I am not a household name. Neither is my party. This is why I appreciate the chance to introduce myself.

As I’ve travelled across our great region, the main sentiment I am hearing is apathy and disengagement with our democratic institutions. I hear it every day: “All the parties are the same. It does not matter who I vote for”; “Why bother voting? Nothing ever changes.” Not surprisingly, voter turnout continues to plummet as more and more people, especially younger Ontarians, tune out.

The None of the Above Direct Democracy Party is based on the principle that the citizens of Ontario should hold the power. Elected officials should have the independence to act in the best interest of their constituents, not the best interest of their party. On a continuous basis, the people of Ontario should make the decisions on important matters through a referendum process. If elected officials do not keep their promises or are ineffective, they should be removed from power. Finally, Ontario should be led by a responsible government committed to real election reform.

If you visit our party’s website, you will not see a lot of detailed platform information. This is because we believe in doing politics differently. As the elected MPP for Carleton, my personal views, opinions and priorities, or the views of my party’s leadership, simply do not matter. My one and only job is to be the voice of the people of Carleton at Queen’s Park. This is how democracy should work.

My commitment to the residents of Carleton is to spend my first 100 days in office doing official and unofficial consultations. I will attend meetings, visit events in bingo halls, church basements and pancake breakfasts. I will create a representative panel of 100 local residents who will advise me on policy decisions and strategic directions.

Why am I the right person for this job? Because I am not part of the current political system. Although I am an executive and scientist in the private sector today, I am the proud child of a tradesperson dad and a stay-at-home mom who grew up in a rural setting. We raised cows, grew our own vegetables and lived a modest but honest life. I believe in hard work, and true servant leadership. That’s what the people of Carleton deserve. Please give me and the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party a chance.