Saturday, March 31, 2007

Video...Stand up and be counted, Oshawa!

Oshawa has a serious problem with the city politician’s moves to bring us the general vote…the system that we turfed out in 1985 in favor of ward voting, the system used virtually everywhere in Canada.

The only place where the general vote is used in a city of Oshawa’s size is in Vancouver where they have a system of municipal political parties and people vote for representatives of the party and its platform. The party is important…not the individual candidate…sort of like provincial and federal elections where the candidate takes a minor role to the party.

The only way that the general vote could work in Oshawa is if we adopted a similar system to Vancouver and introduced political parties into our municipal political system. Political parties make sense with the general vote because without them there are too many candidates for people to get to know in order to make informed choices.

Political parties in a general vote system reduce the difficulty for voters in making wise choices. People simply vote for the representatives of the party whose platform they support.

Political parties are okay for efficient management of the city but they distance the local government from the people and remove your local council representative who can hear your local problem and work toward its solution in an informal way within the bureaucracy of city hall. All of this is lost with the general vote.

Even in Vancouver where the general vote and political parties are used, most of the politicians come from a few of the more affluent areas of the city leaving many of the areas without a local resident representing them on council

If you think political parties should be introduced into Oshawa and don’t care about personal contact with your local politician who is likely resident in your section of the city, by all means…support city council’s moves toward the general vote.

But If you think a local government should be close to the people, representative of the city population, inclusive of all neighborhoods and socio-economic levels, and have a local resident that you likely see in your neighborhood represent the interests of your community on city council, you need the ward system and should oppose city wide elections for all members of council.

So where do you stand Oshawa? We need you to stand up and express your view!

If you want to retain ward voting, it is important that you send an email to the mayor and council at demanding the retention of ward voting.

The very future of Oshawa is at stake with the decision of council and your efforts to work toward the system that you think is best for Oshawa.

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