Thursday, August 16, 2007

Louise Parkes says this is defamatory and has crossed the line!

Below is an item published on the O'Neill Community Facebook site. A courtesy copy was sent to Councillor Louise Parkes.

The facebook item was accompanied by the following introductory note to Councillors Louise Parkes and John Henry both of which have been avid supporters of Oshawa's return to the general vote which will take away your local ward politicians and make all politicians less accountable to voters---

"Hi John and Louise...just a social visit

Just thought you'd like to know that I started this new site for members of the O'Neill Collegiate Community and thought you might be interested in checking it out.

You might want to change your vote to reject the general vote so that this information does not spread too broadly.

Facebook is designed so that once it gets loose in a community, it spreads like wildfire as it is extremely easy for readers to sign up all of the contacts in their address books and it is the new "HOT" site.

As this site grows, i will be able to send a message to every member's email with one click of a button.

We will work on promoting this site among the O'Neill Community shortly.

If you change your vote, you will save me the trouble of promoting this site and you the loss of support both city-wide and in the O'Neill Community.

This is a site for everyone in the community to express their views and so it won't be so time-demanding on me.

In the meantime you will want to check the site regularly to see what is being said by me...and by members of the O'Neill Community.

Isn't the internet great?


At the April 30th Council meeting following my presentation, She says this information is defamatory and "crosses" the line of reason". She says this information constitutes threats and intimidation. Can you believe?

Is it now defamatory and crossing the line of reason to let voters know how politicians are voting?

Is communicating a politician's voting record to the public a threat and intimidation?

I think not! I think it is necessary.

Public information about politician's votes is only threatening and intimidating to them if they don't have the courage of their convictions and want to keep the public in the dark!

Politicians are our servants and it is our democratic right to know how they vote.

The O'Neill Facebook article in question follows--

The Crunch is here!

Oshawa City Council will be passing their bylaw to introduce the general vote to Oshawa at the regular council meeting 6:30 pm, this coming Monday evening, March 30.

Both your city councillors, John Henry and Louise Parkes are supporting the general vote which will take your local area representative away from you. In the event of a problem in your neighbourhood, there will be no politician directly responsible and accountable to you and your neighbours.

Therefore, Monday nights meeting is important for all to attend who want to preserve democracy in Oshawa.

Democracy means a "real" vote that has a say in determining your political leadership.

Democracy means guaranteeing a voice for your community on city council.

Democracy means an inclusive system that gives equal opportunity to citizens from all parts of the city, with all levels of financial wealth, and with all ethnic backgrounds to have a fair and equal chance to seek a seat on council.

Democracy means that people of all demographic groups will be equally heard.

Democracy means the ability to remove councillors from office who are not representing your interests.

Democracy means that politicians are accountable to the citizens.

Democracy means that the political systems serves the people, not the politicians.

Democracy means that there is a politician that you've elected who is responsible to you to listen to your concerns.

Democracy means all these things...that council is wanting to take away.

It is amazing in this day and age in Canada, of all things, we are seeing the erosion of our democratic rights.

We need you to stock city hall with all of your friends, relatives, neighbours, and associates on Monday night to show the politicians we won't stand for this.

It is our last chance to show council that we won't stand for the erosion of our democratic and Canadian rights.

While attendance is important, you can watch the proceedings on Rogers Cable starting at 6:30 pm if it is impossible for you to attend.

VOTES chair, Bill Longworth, is scheduled as a delegation on your behalf.

Bill Longworth,
Founder & Chair of VOTES (Vote to Eliminate Self Serving Politicians)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Oshawa’s Self-Serving Politicians

Your Oshawa City Council has voted to implement the general vote for the election of members of Oshawa City Council. This means that all members of city council will be elected city-wide the same way mayors are across the country.

There are serious implications of this to you as a citizen. You will no longer vote for ward politicians to look after the interests of your community. If you have a community problem that you want addressed, there are no specific politicians accountable to you and your neighbors.

In the past, if you became dissatisfied with your ward politicians, this dissatisfaction is something probably shared with your community, and the politician would be replaced.

For example, the residents of North Simcoe Street became dissatisfied with politicians’ moves to “protect” the street from any development or changes to existing residential architecture there. Residents saw this as interference with their property interests which would affect their property values. They also saw it as interference in their right to modify their residences. Thus they defeated Councilor Cathy Clarke and replaced her with Councilor John Henry. Under the general vote, this would not be possible as politicians are elected city-wide.

Councilor Henry benefitted from this “power” of ward voting but he has since been a strident supporter of the General Vote which means that he no longer is responsible for any neighborhood and cannot be defeated in the same way that he was able to defeat his predecessor.

It is interesting that Councilor Henry has turned his back on the system that gave him political success in favor of one that assures his continued seat on council. By supporting the change, he is also turning his back on the voters of his community who placed their trust in him.

Councilor Henry was joined by Mayor John Gray and Councilors Parkes, Pidwerbecki, Kolodzie, Sholdra, and Marimpietri in voting to take away your local community political representation. They have adopted a system virtually unused in Canada which will make Oshawa the largest city in Canada using the General Vote without also the use of political parties.

As citizens, we have to work to defeat these politicians who have proven that they are more interested in their own interests rather than the interests of the citizens of Oshawa.

If the general vote made sense, wouldn’t it be widely used across the country?

While Municipal Government is supposed to be the government closest to the people, Oshawa politicians have taken our local government farther away than either the Provincial or Federal governments since our local politicians will have constituencies almost twice the size of those of our Provincial or Federal Members.

Politicians like the General Vote because it provides them far more protection from political defeat even though they may support very unpopular positions.

Because politicians are no longer responsible to the individual citizens and individual neighborhoods whose voting power is insufficient to remove them, politicians start to serve “new masters” who can deliver more votes to allow significant growth toward the 25,000 votes or so they require for election.

So what do they do? Their “masters” now become the large organizations and groups who can influence their city-wide members to support the politicians who “are friends of the group”.

Politicians can also support development proposals of those who would donate to their campaigns with far more immunity than they had under ward elections.

In all ways, the change to the general vote is self-serving for the politicians.

And all of this time, we thought politicians were supposed to serve us!

Wake up Oshawa! Get active and do something about this!

We have to start now to defeat the politicians who have voted to serve themselves rather than serve us.

What are you going to do to help bring “responsible” politicians to our city council?