Hitler, Mussolini, & Mao had centralized control over information flow. And so did a host of other despots throughout history.
They built their power by controlling what the people could think, say, and know.
They instituted this control first through a series of perks, privileges, and power they dispensed to government members and finally extended it to the citizenry as they instituted thought control throughout their nations.
We cannot allow this to happen in Oshawa!
But thought control and information restraints are already upon us.
First city council conspired together under the mayor's leadership to withhold plebiscite information from the people. Along with a gerrymandered and convoluted plebiscite question designed to manipulate plebiscite results, city council has returned the general vote to Oshawa.
While this system limits democracy and accountable politics in Oshawa, it does serve the politicians by assuring their council seats until their death or resignation.
It does nothing to serve the people or the city. If the general vote was better in serving the city, wouldn't it be used widely? Instead, Oshawa will be the largest city in the country using it without political parties which, with the exception of Vancouver, are not used in Canada.
In terms of the plebiscite, Mayor John Gray said it was not the city's responsibility to inform the citizens about details of the plebisicite question, why it was being asked, what the general vote meant for the people, why the general vote was better, or indeed even to insure that the people understood the question they were being asked by City Council. He said all of this was up to the citizens themselves. He said interested citizens had to fundraise and organize the communication plan themselves to inform the public. Does this sound sensible or democratic to you?
Under Mayor John Gray's leadership, city council refused citizen appeals to communicate plebiscite details to the public and when they refused to do so, turned down citizen requests for city funding to carry out the communication job that city council refused to do.
And now Mayor John Gray wants to muzzle city council. He wants to limit what city council members can say to the press and wants such communications to be submitted to his office for prior approval.
These "muzzles" on city politicians will effectively put "blinders" on the people.
But all of this is an attempt to further centralize all of the municipal political power in this city and keep the people in the dark.
So how is this much different than Hitler, Mussolini and Mao?