Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We Want to Publicize Oshawa Council's Irresponsibility and Undemocratic Actions As Broadly As Possible

Editor's Note---We are undertaking many actions beyond the publication of posts on this blog. This letter sent to the parties indicated is an example of some of our actions which we have not published earlier to avoid "burying" stories in the blog archives before they have had sufficient time to resonaate with our regular readers. As always, we have many stories written and ready to go which are sometimes displaced by higher priority stories that arise.

The Institute on Governance,
Public Policy Think Tank,
Ottawa, Ontario

Hon. J. Gerretsen,
Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Hon. D. McGuinty,
Premier of Ontario

Mayor and Council,
c/o Oshawa City Clerk

Christine Elliot, MPP

J. Ouellette, MPP

Good afternoon….The city of Oshawa of population approximately 160,000 has recently passed a bylaw to bring the “at large” or the “general vote” to the city for the election of its city council.

This will make the city the largest in Canada and undoubtedly the "free world" to use the general vote without the “formal” use of municipal political parties which are at present prohibited by the Ontario Municipal Elections Act.

This irresponsible, undemocratic, and self-serving action of Oshawa City Council cannot at present be appealed for review by any outside independent and objective body.

The general vote in a city the size of Oshawa is completely unworkable without political parties as it excludes the possibility of informed voters which the Supreme Court has said is a necessity in a democracy and a basic right of Canadians.

The resulting city council will be less accountable, less inclusive, less representative, and less democratic and will give all city politicians constituencies about twice the size of those of our Federal and Provincial Members which is untenable for a local government that is supposed to be closest to the people.

I am writing your organization today to request that it might provide independent review, comment, and critique of this matter which may help to apply influence and pressure to the powers that be to retain a sensible electoral system for Oshawa or to encourage legislative change to allow for civic political parties to make the general vote workable if the Province is going to allow Oshawa’s General Vote Bylaw to stand.

More can be read about this issue at the site

Bill Longworth,
Founder and Chair, VOTES (Vote To Eliminate Self-Serving Politicians)

December 18, 2007

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