As you know, Oshawa City Council is attempting to change our municipal elections from WARD VOTE to the GENERAL VOTE. This would be a severe disservice to the growing vibrancy and people of Oshawa as it only serves to insure the election of the present politicians. The general vote serves the politicians but not the people of Oshawa.
Under Oshawa's last General Vote era (before 1985), only one politician had been defeated at the polls from the time of implementation of Regional Government when Cy Elsey, the perpetually top polling local councillor decided to run regionally and he defeated perpetually lowest polling Regional Councillor, John McLauglin. All other change took place through death or resignation.
In the first election under ward voting, half of the council was defeated...because under ward voting politicians themselves have to appeal to the people...and high name recognition necessary for a win under the general vote just doesn't "cut it" with the people in ward elections.
Politicians are only accountable in serving the people to the extent they can be defeated in elections. If they cannot be defeated, they end up not being accountable. Under the General Vote, politicians campaign and run across the entire city so that local community (ward) representation is lost. Because of the expense of elections, all of the politicians come to reside in just a few richer areas of the city leaving most parts unrepresented. Under the general vote, there is no one politician accountable to you and your community. The general vote makes all politicians responsible for everything. In such a system, no one ends up being responsible for anything and therefore nothing gets done.
This was why in the past Oshawa developed a bad reputation and no one wanted to reside here. Commuters would stop at Whitby or carry on to Bowmanville or Newcastle even though housing was cheaper in Oshawa. The only kind of development we could attract were co-ops and subsidized housing...and we don't want to return Oshawa to the sleepy undesirable past when little happened.
The resolution of the ward/general vote issue is the most important decision for the future of Oshawa that will happen over this term of Council. It was irresponsible of the last council, most of whom still sit on this council, to vote to put the issue on the ballot and then not arrange for significant debate and discussion and the circulation of information so that voters could make an informed choice. It was doubly irresponsible for the council to decide on a convoluted and complex question where you had to vote "NO" to preserve the present ward system.
It would be helpful in getting our message out if you would forward our addess, www.oshawaspeaks.ca to all of your contacts in Oshawa. Also ask your friends who receive the message to pass it on in turn to their contacts If we all do a little bit, we can potentially and effectively get these communications out to most residents of Oshawa.