LETTER: Local government term going to four years

The recent announcement by Minister Coralee Oakes follows other novice ideas...

The Editor

Dear Sir,

The recent announcement by Minister Coralee Oakes follows other novice ideas and grandstanding such as those from Minister Todd Stone, Transportation Minister symptomatic of extreme ignorance of topic but probably epitomize silliness of deed and later can be amended claiming “ignorance or innocence of ministers” new to the portfolio, speaking without substance or due thought. Public opinion can sway political opinions but wouldn’t it be preferable to consult more in advance?

A mere eight months in advance of a municipal election we find a perceived arbitrary decision being touted, without much saneness of consequences or much sensitivity to potential candidates. Indeed, many must vacate the political arena due to ineptness, others will find family considerations too overwhelming to continue, some may have run at three year terms who will not now suddenly wish to devote four years.  So, all in all, other that a reflection of the ignorance, arrogance and unilateral behaviour we expect from this government, why suddenly now, at this late date to make an announcement?

More sense of investigation is needed to not only decide on effective term of office, such as two years may be most beneficial. It was argued three years would be more cost-effective. Now, same political rhetoric, the four years will be less costly. So, if this is the premise, why not move to five years for even more cost effectiveness?

Sadly, to even tout any change or lengthening term of office, without accompanying effective “recall” or additions of a so-called “Rob Ford Clause” is repugnant, at best and most short-sighted and ought to be abandoned until more sane thought can be given to ideas and public interest the prevailing goal.

We have too many instances of inept politicians who, in part, capitalize on the current prevalent political apathy, indifference and low voter turnout. Considerable narcissism prevails and many incumbent let alone newcomers, feel some “I know it all” syndrome exists, that will see one day a mayor “flipping pizzas” or performing chiropractic techniques, suddenly feeling superior and more knowledgeable than all surveyed.  Simply, no qualifications for office exist and popular vote gets the job. Similarly the argument about “raising compensation to attract higher calibre candidates” is extreme folly proven by the fact that considerable higher compensation is paid to MLA or MP, yet many if not most are not even as qualified or certainly not more capable than lower municipal politicians. Indeed, many local politicians aspire to higher jobs, usually for self-gain than contributing greater success to the province or country.

Voters select who they like, often along party lines and who seem to convince the fickle voter they will, in spite of past performance, represent constituents. Sadly, federal and provincial leaders dominate and constituents, as voters be damned if their desires conflict with party ideology or platform goals.

Sadly, in the absence of any stringent and impartial rules governing candidacy, election promises and performance, let alone any prescribed criteria for municipal politicians, we are what we are and get what we get, neither raising the bar and all succumbs to ongoing subjective criticism and increasing voter frustration at wrong persons elected and our being stuck three years, now an arbitrary increase to four years, my word.

So all the personal observations and political rhetoric espoused by many observers of the political scene are sadly just personal subjective conjecture and opinion lacking substance and to date have failed to impress decision makers from continuing to make poor decisions and exercise poor judgment, as ramming this four year term done voters throats to the chagrin of most and at what political peril remains uncertain.

One may observe the minister ought to abandon this process and rethink the complete issue but to a novice minister thinking to make a name and please her master, the chance of enlightened and pro-active process must be seen devoid of her thoughts and saneness of mind.

Yours truly,

George F. Evens

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