Tuesday, March 6, 2007

General vs. Ward Vote Meeting, April 19, 2007, 7:00 pm, Sikorski Hall

I have been forwarded the following email which gave advance notice today to city politicians and senior city hall officials of the date of the “PUBLIC MEETING” to receive citizen input in regards to the city bylaw to revert to the general vote for the election of members of city council.

“From: Sandra Kranc
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 3:28 PM
To: Bob Duignan; Rick Stockman; Tom Hodgins; Stan Bertoia; April Cullen; Brian Nicholson; Joe Kolodzie; John Gray; John Henry; John Neal; Louise Parkes; Maryanne Sholdra; Nester Pidwerbecki; Robert Lutczyk; Tito-Dante Marimpietri
Cc: Kim Bressan; Jennifer Allan; Percy Luther; Lon Knox; Mary Medeiros
Subject: Public Meeting - General Vote
This email is to provide advance notice that the public meeting on the general vote method of election will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at the General W. Sikorski Polish Veterans’ Hall. You will receive official advance notice later this week with your regular courier/mail delivery, but thought you may like to know at this time in case you receive any enquiries.

Please put the date, April 19, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Sikorski Hall on your calendar as it is important that the hall be full if we are to avoid the undemocratic general vote.

This change cannot be justified in any way by any student of municipal politics. It will give a constituency to each city politician about twice the size of that of our federal and provincial members thus taking the government designed to be closest to the people further away than either our provincial MPP or our federal MP. It will take away ward representation thus depriving you of a politician especially elected by residents of your ward to look after ward concerns and represent your ward interests on council. It will produce an unwieldy ballot of 50-60 candidates which will make it impossible to make informed choices. It will take all local campaigning away from your local community so that ward issues are not debated in your local church basements and school auditoriums. It will isolate Oshawa voters away from members of council. All candidates will campaign city wide and any election forums will be reduced to huge meetings where huge numbers of candidates will be given about 2 minutes each to express their platforms to voters. It will result in a council over time all residing in a few of the richer areas of Oshawa leaving most of the city unrepresented and disenfranchised. The only benefit—it guarantees re-election of incumbents. All of the above was Oshawa’s devastating history with the general vote prior to 1985.

Don’t let it happen again! Don’t let Oshawa politicians revert to a system of municipal elections virtually unused in Canada. If the general vote was better, wouldn't you think it would be used virtually everywhere?

Mark April 19th on your calendar and plan to attend this meeting. It’s all the better if you also express your opinion orally at the meeting.

Oshawa’s future is in your hands.

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