Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Politicians Say!!!

Politician’s say, “If I accept the citizens’ wisdom in electing me, then I have to accept their wisdom in voting for the way they did on the referendum question.”

This is the spin that politician’s are spouting requiring them to support the referendum. Nonsense!

This is very shallow thinking that is dead wrong. Hopefully the politicians bring more analytical ability to their political decision making on our behalf.

Politicians campaigned and promoted themselves. Their brochures, flyers, door knocking, hand shaking, baby kissing, etc. all informed the voters about them. They got elected because of their campaign and because of their incumbency on council.

It does pay to advertise…and that is why Mayor Gray reportedly spent $35000 on his campaign. Mayor Gray demonstrated himself superior to his opponents in his knowledge, grasp of the issues, etc. during the all-candidates meetings. It didn’t hurt of course that Mayor Gray was regularly in the paper, on TV, on the radio, and at many official functions. That is why Mayor Gray got elected…it does pay to advertise.

Similarly other politicians got elected by the effectiveness of their campaigns and their public image.

Who campaigned for the ward system or general vote? NO ONE!

Politicians were busy in promoting themselves as they should in an election…but who took the responsibility of informing the public about the ins and outs of either voting system….NO ONE!

The public was kept uninformed either by design or by oversight…therefore voter knowledge on this issue was minimal or zilch when compared to knowledge of the politicians. The less informed voters are, the more random are their responses. And a YES vote always results in a greater choice in random selection as people are more positive than negative. YOU MAY BE INTERESTED TO KNOW THAT THE REFERENDUM QUESTION WAS "REVISED" BY POLITICIANS CONTINUALLY UNTIL THEY GOT JUST THE "RIGHT" QUESTION TO GUARANTEE THEM THE ANSWER THEY WANTED AND PLOTTED FOR.

When some questioning politicians bring up the idea that voters didn’t understand the question, this immediately brings up the “over-the-top” rhetoric of rabid general vote council leaders like Nester Pidwerbecki and Joe Kolodzie, “Are you calling the voters stupid?”, they ask. The voters are certainly not stupid, but they were uninformed. It was city hall’s responsibility under the direction of council to see that the electorate was informed…and they failed.

When I accidentally found out about the referendum question a month or so before the election, I wrote the Mayor and Council suggesting an information brochure be prepared and sent to all households. I even offered to write up the “pro-ward” argument. My offer was not acknowledged…perhaps because the Council did not really want an informed voter. Maybe they wanted to catch voters “cold” seeing and considering the question for the first time in the ballot box without ever previously discussing or thinking about the issue.

So if any Council Members are presenting the viewpoint that their own election was in any way similar to the referendum question, their level of analysis is very suspect and I don’t think I want them making decisions for me on Oshawa Council.

Democracy requires voters to make informed choices. Without an informed electorate, many choices are random and not truly a reflection of voter's wishes. Therefore the referendum result is very suspect as a measure of public opinion. It should carry little weight as too many voters were confused or uninformed about the issue….But this is not the spin the politician’s are putting to the facts.

It’s unfortunate that so many of them are hanging their hat on the poll of an uninformed electorate. Voters may be outstanding mechanics, builders, doctors, sales people, etc., etc., etc., experts in their fields, but not knowing much or even caring about politics. Democracy requires that everyone be informed about questions if they are going to be asked their opinion on them….and Council did not take this responsibility to inform!!!

Council failed us on this! Irresponsible, irrational, and undemocratic! Shame!

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