Friday, August 30, 2013

MUNICIPAL POLITICS AT A GLANCE

As exciting as the race to select a new leader of the provincial Liberal Party is, the fall municipal elections are receiving lots of attention. At this point most of the deadlines for Municipal Candidates have passed and the choices are fixed.

I'll be looking at some of the issues and personalities facing municipalities in different regions of the province over the next few weeks.  Some races are more interesting than others. The battle in the capital is first and foremost from a personal perspective.

St. John's "proudly independent and locally owned" arts & entertainment magazine, The Scope, has published it's endorsement list. The article is interesting, providing some rationale for their choices. I would be interested in what you think about the choices. The Scope reaches thousands of voters in St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Torbay and Conception Bay South every month. Food for thought as you decide who to support.


While I prefer a fight for every position, I am not disappointed that Danny Breen was given an "advance to go" card. The incumbent Ward One  Councillor has earned my respect. In my experience as a community activist, he has been quick to follow-up, assist his constituents and deliver results. From enlightening the bureaucracy at City Hall about local issues to advocating for local recreation, health and safety issues, he is a role model for what a municipal councilor should be.  Ward One is very fortunate to have him.

I also noted that the tory plot to overthrow incumbent Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms ran out of steam. A reflection of the polls and the lack of control over the tory machine in Mount Pear? A former mayor and former P.C. Cabinet Minister had been putting together a team utilizing his minions to up his profile in the lead up to the summer. Randy is a good leader and Mount Pearl knows it! Hats off to the voters for rejecting domination and vendettas.

I am still shocked that that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs remains in cabinet after his anti-democratic comments about engaging more of the public in municipal elections.  Minister Herr Kevin O'Brien told the Municipal News that 70% of the voter's in this province are too ill-informed to vote. He basically said introducing e-voting will make it too easy for people to vote which will lead to bad government.

How does one become so arrogant and paternalist that they forget that in a democracy, the voter is always right.

That the humble average voter is the politician's boss.



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