Editor, The Record:
I voted, so I have the right to complain. I did not vote for the CRMG slate.
There are some on the slate I voted for, and some off the slate I voted for. I have an issue with slate-based politics at the local level. One of these issues was realized by this last election. The CRMG slate swept the council. CRMG claim they are like-minded individuals.
From where will the alternatives and differing opinions come? Discussion in council could be non-existent as all members are of like-mind. It is often during debates that alternative solutions are developed.
How will this council be held accountable if there is no opposition in the group? I remember when Gordon Campbell and the Liberals almost swept the province and he did not permit opposition funding to the NDP. The outcry was unbelievable. The concern was where would the opposition come from, and who will hold them accountable. How is the result of this most recent local election any different?
Another concern is that we do not have a council which is even close to representing the cultural, social, and ethnic composition of our community, nor is there representation of the differing voices which comprise our district.
Unfortunately, it appears the political landscape has been permanently changed in Mission. Now in order to become involved and successful in it, one must belong to a political organization. It is much easier for a slate to get the vote out in their favour than it is for one independent. This will continue to exclude many capable individuals from volunteering in the future since they have little chance of overcoming the odds. Fresh ideas, ideas from outside the box will likely be lost since all now on council are of like-mind.
At the same time, congratulations to CRMG for getting the vote out.
The result is that everyone in Mission must step up and hold this council accountable. They have made many promises and together we must ensure they provide what has been promised. Opposition and healthy debate will not come from within this group. It must come from all of us.