Decisions made by a select unelected few

Writer got thinking after hearing Wet’suwet’en chief saying he didn’t want to sell natural gas to China


Hereditary, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 1. genetically passed or passable from parent to offspring, 2. passing by inheritance also having title or possession through inheritance, 3. of a kind established by tradition.

When I heard Chief Na’moks (John Ridsdale) being interviewed on CBC Radio regarding the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline, one of his comments was that he was against shipping natural gas or oil to a totalitarian regime like China. That got me thinking about the hereditary system of governance.

According to an article in the Jan. 9, 2019 issue of the Smithers Interior News [referencing an APTN story], Chief Na’moks stated that three female hereditary chiefs were stripped of their names for supporting the pipeline. He also stated that the vast majority of Wet’suwet’en people were against the pipeline yet in two [council votes] held in Witset by two different democratically elected chiefs and councils, the majority approved of the pipeline.

So I ask, what is the difference between the Chinese system and the hereditary system? It seems that decisions made in both systems are made by a select unelected few. If you don’t agree, you are out or your majority view is disregarded. Just an observation!

Stan Kania


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