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So many Oshawa voters are finally becoming informed about the Ward/General Vote issue and the politician’s unethical and irresponsible attempts to change to the General Vote. The only possible explanation for this is to insure their political futures as the change cannot be justified by any other rational or democratic reason.
As we have reported, Oshawa’s history with the General Vote is that all change from the time Durham Region was formed to the time we secured Ward Elections in 1985, took place through death or resignation of council members.
With the 4 year term, and politician’s Local & Regional pay (2 salaries), 1/3 of salary and all allowances income tax free, auto allowance, expense allowance, benefits package, pension, severance pay upon their defeat, and other perks including their blackberries and city charge cards, office expense budget, entertainment expense, use of the city box for GM Place events, Travel costs to international conferences, etc., etc., etc. approaching half a million dollars, it is little wonder that the politicians would risk their integrity by wanting to change to a system that insures them a lifetime seat. Oh Yeah!....almost forgot hidden salaries for non-jobs like city or regional committee chairmanships, vice-chairmanships, etc. and being city/regional rep on some organizations like CLOCA, etc. because it's a huge responsibility to chair a meeting from a staff prepared agenda. Big bucks are involved and they keep double/triple/quadruple dipping into the taxpayer pot. Big bucks, big,big bucks indeed!
Since no reasonable explanation has ever been offered why the question was brought up in council in the first place in the absence of any expressed public discontent with ward elections, we can only assume that the whole question was self-serving for the politicians. Politicians were more interested in serving themselves rather than providing good democratic government for this city.
To insure that they got a referendum result that produced their desired result, they kept the question quiet so that unaware voters were not able to discuss and consider the question before being caught “cold” in the voting booth. To make the question even more confusing, voters had to vote “NO” to maintain the system that had served Oshawa well and citizens were satisfied with. Oshawa Council stacked all the cards in their flavor!!! City politicians desperately want the General Vote to insure their political futures.
Ward elections are vastly superior. That is why they are used in virtually every city in Canada. There are a few small municipalities that retain the General Vote…but no city the size of Oshawa in Canada except for Vancouver which has a system of political parties and so people vote for a slate of candidates…quite a different system than Oshawa would have. In Vancouver, citizen’s vote along party lines very similar to Federal or Provincial elections where people vote mostly for a party because of its platform with the individual candidate being far less important.
So Oshawa voters would have to ask themselves again, why would Oshawa politicians want to move to a system that is virtually unused in the country. If the General Vote was better, wouldn’t the majority of cities be using it?
There is still time to stop this lunacy of council if enough people write to the mayor and council demanding the retention of the Ward System, the system that serves the people and not the politicians.
The address for your letters addressed to the Mayor and Council is found in the right sidebar or is highlighted below. Simply click on the address firstname.lastname@example.org and your email “send box” should come up so you can easily write and send your message. Your letter doesn’t have to be long…just something like “I am a resident of Oshawa at (address) and I demand that Oshawa City Council retain Ward Voting and drop all plans to move to a General Vote.” If you found the question confusing, weren’t provided enough advance information about it, or didn’t understand the issue, or now realize you voted the wrong way to retain the present voting system, you could also make those points. Letters addressed to the Mayor and Council will find themselves on the council agenda and council will have to officially “move” and “second” to receive the communication.
Stay tuned for our hit list of those self-serving and irresponsible politicians who continue to push for the general vote. We continue to monitor council votes and will make a decision to target some politicians for defeat once the pertinent votes are taken at city council.