"In his opinion allowing a large number of
uninformed voters access to the ballot box just
because they have a computer or cell phone can
result in a bad election result. “People who don’t
know what’s going on,voting for people they
don’t know, is not appropriate,” he says. It is better
to have 30 per cent of the community turn out who
have a true interest in their town then to encourage
a larger turn-out where the chance of an
uninformed decision could win
the day. "
June 13, 2013
I heard Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O'Brien speaking to VOCM Open Line host Bill Rowe this morning about yesterday's municipal elections. The Minister was thumping himself on the back for efforts made by government to encourage more people to run for elections and vote.
His demeanor changed a little towards the end of the conversation when Rowe raised the issue of the O'Brien's stupendous, demeaning, disrespectful anti-democratic judgement of 70% of the electorate.
He responded by saying he was taken out of context. He obliviously felt that one vote, one person. Equality. The underpinning of our democracy is wrong.
Back in June when I first saw the article, I was astounded that the media and the opposition did not make an issue of the Municipal News article written by Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms.
The Telegram editorial today ensures that the ministers undemocratic comments were not forgotten. More examples of the damage that the Progressive Conservative arrogance has done to their relationship with the voters.
O'Brien implied that the 30% (or less if you only include the cabinet) know what is best for everyone. He has shown no respect for human dignity implying that the majority of our population lack the ability to think and choose for themselves.
I think it is so sad that one of our own feels this way about 70% of the population. 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.
Rebuilding the PC brand is not going to be easy, doing it with O'Brien on the front benches is going to make it even more difficult.