Highlights of the article:
- Today, there is no risk at the local level. Municipalities are step-children, beholden to the money and authority of the province and a revolt in any particular town has no repercussions on the others. It’s just a nuisance ripple at the provincial level.
- Port Hope, ….. found themselves at the intersection of “affinity for engagement and a contempt for metrics” (lack thereof), and knee-deep in the “fertile breeding ground for leaders who wish to make up their own rules.” The principles of oligarchical rule were well embedded in Port Hope and the taxpayers had to take the fight to city hall, through the courts, where the municipality was found guilty of pilfering almost $5 million from a $10 million trust fund (appellate court decision April 18, 2017). So much for trust and democracy.
- In Cobourg,…. The politicians and staff rolled out the tired old platitudes claiming: To initiate electoral change would be too complex and confusing; it would require public education; and, using the perennial political dodge, there was a lack of time, money and staff. Might we add, a lack of will, guts and…. Staff tabled a twenty-five page memorandum of rationalization (more complexity), which, off the top, under the heading of Strategic Plan, it noted, “Not Applicable.” Since when is improving the voting system not a strategic imperative? And then the staff proceeded to do everything they could to squash any consideration of a new way of doing things…
- Cobourg Council opted for the status quo and continue counting on public apathy, which is critical at the local level under oligarchical rule – no big uprisings from the grassroots, no “Arab Spring” here.