Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Old Abe's Observations...video

Oshawa City Council gerrymandered a ward/general vote plebiscite question that went through a number of revisions until they came up with one heavily weighted in a way likely to produce the result council wanted.

Council then kept the question secret to avoid any public debate or discussion of the issue so they could catch voters "cold" in the voting booth considering the complex and convoluted question for the first time...a question where voters had to vote "NO" to retain their present ward system of voting.

Two doctors I spoke with did not understand the concept of the general vote. While experts in the medical field, they understood little about the details of politics...and I suspect many citizens expert in their fields are equally uninformed about political terms.

Wording the question in terms of a "general vote" is a concept that most people would not understand since it was not defined anywhere and is not part of people's daily experience. While its meaning is as elementary to politicians as "galactosylceramide lipoidosis" or "zalcitabine" or "palmar fibromatosisis" is to medical doctors...the meaning is not easily understood unless you are in the field.

How would you feel if your family doctor said you needed a Cholecystectomy and then offered you a choice of laparoscopic or open...and refused to define the terms and give you the advantages/disadvantages of each? Wouldn't you get rid of him? Even worse, what if he didn't even tell you about the surgery and just wheeled you in and did it?

This is similar to what the politicians did with the plebescite question. They refused to give you information and just wheeled you into the voting booth for your "X" on a weighted question...irresponsible, undemocratic, and unprincipled. They deserve the same fate as a doctor who would refuse you required information.

Oshawa Council does not understand that democracy requires an informed public and it was very undemocratic for council to refuse to provide information to all households about the issue, despite my written request for them to do so.

It is not democratic to gerrymander a plebiscite question likely to produce a result council wanted and then keep the question a secret from the public to stifle any public debate and discussion. Nor is it democratic for those councillors who are voting to support the plebiscite result insisting they must uphold the will of the people.

To Oshawa City Council, democracy is only a word...it is not a practise.

The will of the people has not yet been expressed but will speak loudly come the next municipal election

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