Oshawa VOTES political party has declared its intention to run a slate of candidates to contest the next municipal election. We have declared "WE PROMISE" as our campaign theme. Our website will be www.WePromise.ca
While the party will have a wide-ranging platform, it's first order of business will be in returning ward voting to Oshawa.
Another major goal will be in defeating Mayor Gray and Councillors Pidwerbecki, Parkes, Marimpietri, Henry, Kolodzie, and Sholdra all of whom voted to rob you of your local ward representatives by replacing ward voting with the less accountable and less democratic "General Vote". They wanted a "self-serving" electoral system that served them rather than the people of Oshawa.
In addition to a platform of "positives" our team will develop, we will be reminding the public of the growing collection of "negatives" identified below under the item--Oshawa City Council "Hall of Shame". The Oshawa public, however, is invited to contact us to suggest additional isses you think we should consider.
Fortunately the general vote will make the task easier for the VOTES party as our team will be able to concentrate on one city-wide campaign rather than on seven ward campaigns.
2. "I've never heard of a government informing people about a plebiscite question."--Councillor Joe Kolodzie (City Council Mtg., April 10, 2007)
3. "Our half million dollar loss at the GM Center actually puts us $700,000 above the $1.2 million loss at the Civic."--Mayor John Gray's "spin" on first year taxpayer losses of new GM Place (December 07 interview with CHEX TV's Dan Carter's "First Take LIVE) overlooking borrowing costs for GM Center which didn't exist for the Civic.
4. FULL LIST UNDER CONSTRUCTION
OSHAWA CITY COUNCIL "HALL OF SHAME"--UNDER CONSTRUCTION
The basic mandate of this site is to retain ward voting for Oshawa.
Oshawa City Council has voted to return to the “city-wide" or general vote for the election of members of Oshawa City Council which will make the City of Oshawa the largest city in the "free world" to use this electoral system without the use of civic political parties which are at present prohibited by Ontario's "Municipal Elections Act."
Oshawa incumbent politicians are the biggest beneficiaries of the change yet recent changes to Ontario Municipal Law (Bill 130) prevents their “self-serving” decision from being appealed to any higher government or independent tribunal. This sets a very dangerous precedent for all other potentially undemocratic and self-serving councils in the Province to emulate.
The General Vote will produce a local government that is less accountable, less inclusive, less representative, less responsive, less diverse, and less democratic and because of these problems is not being used in any large center anywhere in the country. If it was a better system, wouldn’t it be widely used?
Under the general vote, the ballot will contain the names of upwards of 80 to 90 candidates for "city-wide" election to the various offices presenting an impossible task for informed voting. To make the "General Vote" workable, civic political parties are required to simplify voter choices and to retain political accountability.
In a democracy, political accountability is directly related to voter’s ability to defeat politicians but Oshawa's history with the general vote prior to ward voting introduced in 1985 was that out of 109 contested positions in the preceding 7 general vote councils, not one politician was defeated by the vote. All change took place through the death or resignation of members.
The General Vote cloistered all voting power in a few of the wealthier areas of Oshawa with more than half of the members residing in North Oshawa (the old ward 6) and three residing in one polling subdivision of about 100 houses at the east end of Regent Drive.The General Vote left huge areas of the city disenfranchised, unrepresented, unserviced, and forgotten on City Council.
This lack of attention to vast areas of the city led to a reputation as an “unprogressive” and “undesirable” place which depressed housing prices and caused the exodus of quality home builders. We do not want to regress to those days.
The General Vote will give politicians constituency sizes twice the size of those of our Federal and Provincial Government Representatives thus taking our local government members further from the people. Their vastly inflated constituencies will give rise to calls for increased salary, increased staff, increased office space, increased budgets, etc. all leading to escalating costs of our local government.
The biggest argument advanced by proponents of the General Vote is that it makes every city politician responsible to the whole city. Think about that. Apply it to your work. If everyone in your work was responsible for everything, who would be responsible for anything? The General Vote will produce rudderless political leadership for Oshawa.
Politicians will do what the system demands for re-election. The General Vote makes all politicians competitors for the same city-wide vote and success depends upon high name recognition. In order to promote their name, council members will backbite, bitch, bicker, and grandstand to grab the press all at the expense of real productivity. Ward Voting depends upon service to the people in the community that politicians represent. If the politician provides unsatisfactory representation, he/she will be replaced so the motivation is to serve the people. Which system would serve you best?
In acquiring the campaign funds and votes to get elected in a General Vote, politicians will become less accountable to the citizens and more accountable to political donors like developers as well as large organizations like trade unions, churches, the golf club, etc. which have the potential to influence their city-wide membership to vote for favored politicians. In addition they may be less wary about supporting the desires of their donors if the election system makes them less accountable to voters. Where does that place the needs and the problems of the ratepayer and homeowner whose neighborhood problem will produce few votes of the 25,000 or so needed for election?
Thus the general vote takes away voting power from ordinary citizens, takes away local community representation, reduces political responsibility and accountability for representing the interests of individual citizens and their specific neighborhood concerns and gives this political power to large organizations and political donors. How is that serving the interests of Oshawa residents and ratepayers?
But the real problem…while governments everywhere in the free world are interested in communicating important information to their electorate, Oshawa City Council took planned and deliberate action to keep the plebiscite issue from the people as the Mayor argued it wasn’t city hall’s responsibility to communicate any of this information to their public!Information is the basic pillar of democracy…and yet the mayor says City Council had no responsibility to inform. Amazing! Perhaps this is the first sign of the lack of accountability accruing from the general vote. Politicians can do anything to the people if they can't be defeated!
So the Mandate of this site?
1) Inform Oshawa voters of City Council’s irresponsible and undemocratic actions and work to retain ward voting for Oshawa.
2) Run a Slate of Candidates in the next municipal elections to replace Mayor Gray, Councillors Pidwerbecki, Kolodzie, Parkes, Henry, Sholdra, and Marimpietri all of whom voted for the “self-serving” General Vote.
3) The Oshawa Votes Slate of strong results oriented individuals will pledge to return ward voting to Oshawa as its first order of business as well to re-organize city committee structures to bring real change and progress to Oshawa. These "results-oriented" changes will be announced as part of the VOTES Election Platform.
4) Before the next election, work for legislative change to allow for Municipal Political Parties if Oshawa’s General Vote Bylaw is allowed to stand.
5) To be a “watchdog” over all actions of this council because of their proven irresponsibility and self-serving actions.