Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword

Hopefully you are emailing the Mayor and Council and the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing re your demand that Oshawa retain ward voting so that your community continues to be represented on Council. The email links for these communications are on the right sidebar.

Without ward voting, there is no politician accountable to you and your neighbours. There is no politician that is responsible to solve problems in your community.

All Oshawa citizens who WANT CONTINUED NEIGHBOURHOOD REPRESENTATION on city council must get involved in helping to retain ward voting which is used in virtually every community in Canada.

How can you help? Besides letter writing to the politicians and the press, you can pass on the www.oshawaspeaks.ca web address to all of your Oshawa Contacts and encourage them to read the site to become familiar with the issue. Everyone must become aware, concerned and active in regard to this issue.

You can also collect names on a petition demanding the retention of ward voting. The strongest petitions are small independent ones where residents write up their own wording and get their neighbours and friends to sign it. All petitios require is an opening statement something like, "We the undersigned demand that Oshawa City Council retain Ward Voting to ensure that our neighbourhoods are represented on City Council" or any other wording of your choice. Following, there should be a place for people to sign their name and provide their address. These petitions should be sent to the attention of Bill Longworth at 159 Spirea Court, Oshawa, L1G 6S8

While you are getting your neighbours to sign your petition, you will get a chance to explain ward voting vs. the general vote and encourage your neighbours to start their own petition. You will also get a chance to name the politicians who are leading the charge to the general vote. These at present are Councillors Pidwerbecki, Kolodzie, Parkes, and Henry. We are keeping an eye on the voting record of others and may add to this list at a later date. The voting record of these politicians indicates that they are more interested in looking after their own electoral interests rather than providing good leadership for the citizens of this city. We have to take these politicians out in the next election.

We have to get serious about this if we are not going to allow politicians to take us in a huge backward step for Oshawa by returning us to the electoral system which serves the politicians by virtually insuring them a life-long seat on council but which does not serve the city or its people.

One cannot expect Oshawa to remain the progressive place it is today if we return to the general vote which proved disastrous for Oshawa when we had it prior to 1985. At that time, the only change in city council politicians was through death or resignation and all of the representation came from a few richer areas of Oshawa’s North End. The south end of Oshawa had not been represented on council in living memory. Because politicians were less accountable to the people, they provided little in the way of leadership for Oshawa...and no service to the people by way of working to solve your local neighbourhood problems and concerns. Because no one was responsible to you by virtue of being elected by your community, there was no politician your neighbourhood could call to listen to your concerns.

Inaction and passivity will not solve the problem. We need active involvement of all who care about Oshawa and who want to retain it as a vibrant place, the fastest growing region in the GTA, a place that has developed vibrant recreation centers and libraries for the citizens in all sections of Oshawa, a place that is becoming an attractive place to live. All of this will be lost if we get a general vote council where politicians replace service to the community required under a ward system with the promotion of their name recognition which is necessary under the general vote. Under that system, city council becomes a contentious place where nothing happens as politicians are too busy bitching, complaining, backbiting, and fighting in an effort to grab the press and promote their name recognition. When a council member comes up with a good idea, it will not gain support of council as no member of council will want to give his council competitors credit (and press) for coming up with a good idea.

Let’s get serious about this! We need your actions and your energies now.

As Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”.

We need you to collect petitions and send them to us now.

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