Monday, February 12, 2007

A Reader's Comment---Campaign Street Litter & Overflowing Recycling Bins

People were ALREADY complaining this past election about the number of signs and amount of campaign literature that came around during the elections.

Now, let's look at the averages. From using an average of 3 regional candidates per ward (22 in total) and 5 local candidates per ward. Instead of receiving propaganda from the 3 mayoral candidates, 3 Regional candidates, and 5 Local Candidates, we will NOW receive material from the 3 Mayoral Candidates, as well as ALL FOURTEEN Local Candidates, and ALL TWENTY-TWO, yes, that's right, ALL TWENTY-TWO Regional Candidates!

So, that means that you, the people of Oshawa, will have to make your choices, based on seeing a few flyers from THIRTY-NINE DIFFERENT CANDIDATES IN THE ELECTION!!!

Why is it that there are some out there that ACTUALLY believe this is better? Ironically enough, their reasons are simple and selfish.

They know that there are certain entrenched politicians in this city, that THEY HAVE A PERSONAL AGENDA AGAINST.

Now, they choose to ignore the fact that they cannot vote for nor against that person or persons, because they do not live in the wards in question, so they think the only way to get these people out is to make them run city wide, instead of having them focus on wards.

What they FAIL TO REALIZE (shockingly), is that the reasons that they dislike these people, are because these particular politicians, are doing EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT THEIR CONSTITUENTS HAVE ELECTED THEM TO DO!

Realistically, the day that ANY of these politicians FAIL to represent the people of their ward in the manner that is expected, they find themselves unemployed. It happens to them all! So, why is the change from Ward System to General Vote needed?

In fact, what everyone seems to be missing, is that Oshawa OVERWHELMINGLY supported the Ward system when it was first introduced in the 1980's, and as such, WHY WAS IT EVEN BROUGHT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Bob Graham, Oshawa

Comment from Bill explained in an earlier post, the chances of a small group defeating an incumbent politician under the general vote is negligible. A group of 200 people make very little difference in a general vote of 20000 which is a ballpark figure that the winning candidates may require. On the other hand, a group of 50 or so have a far larger impact in a ward vote of 3500 votes that the winning candidate may get. Quite apart from this, however, is the fact that ward voters will get to know a candidate far better than the city wide population and will probably be in a far better position to judge the worth of the candidate and defeat him/her if they are not worthy of support. A far more difficult problem is that politicians will do what is required to get elected. If it is service to the people required under ward voting, then they will provide this. If it is "growing" their name profile across the city, they will concentrate on this rather than providing service to the city and its people. Under the general vote, as well, because all politicians are competitive with each other, they are reluctant to acknowledge and support good ideas arising from their peers on council. Therefore, we lose on two counts...1) no one to troubleshoot, investigate, and provide service to little ward problems, and 2) no real political leadership coming from council which stagnates into "name recognition" contests. Both of these problems have very serious consequences for growing Oshawa as a desirable and vibrant place to live. If Oshawa once again becomes an undesirable place because nothing happens here as occurred under our general vote councils prior to 1985, all homeowners will suffer with decreased property values. It will hurt us all!

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