The recent transit plebiscite has demonstrated that local politicians have no power to sway the public on regional issues.
It's because mayors and councillors, including Gregor Robertson and Linda Hepner, have little legitimacy to speak for residents across the Lower Mainland.
TransLink and Metro Vancouver spend $2 billion per year, but nobody is directly elected to serve on these boards.
Instead, city councils appoint dozens of mayors and councillors to moonlight on the Metro Vancouver board for fat per-diem payments. And mayors choose which of their own should sit on the TransLink board.
That's not democratic. And that's not how it works in the Portland area.
There, seven politicians are directly elected to look after the interests of the region's 1.5 million residents.
If we directly elected Metro Vancouver and TransLink directors, they could run for office proposing policies to address transportation gridlock. And after being elected, they would have a mandate to do this.
That's far preferable to blowing millions of dollars on a plebiscite that will only delay the introduction of necessary transportation improvements.
Provincial politicians with the B.C. Liberals and NDP can huff and puff all they want about the meaning of the plebiscite results.
The reality is that the public has no use for billions of dollars being spent by people who cannot be thrown out of office for making bad decisions.
This is an issue that should be taken up by the Green party's Andrew Weaver in the legislature.
Surely, he can see the folly of this whole taxation-without-representation arrangement that's been imposed on the Lower Mainland by both the B.C. Liberals and NDP when they've been in power.