Archive for the '2008 election notes' category

redefining democracy

December 8, 2008

When considering my previous post, think about the most recent federal and civic elections in White Rock:

  • Both had very low voter turnout;
  • Both resulted in a mandate to resist change;
  • Both were laden with empty-calorie rhetoric;
  • Both had undercurrent debates about the meaning of democracy;
  • Both illustrated a high degree of ignorance among citizens on how government functions.

Read on »

great vision, poor attribution

December 2, 2008

There was an almost-great letter to the editor of the Peace Arch News last week. It was great until the last line.

It was a fabulous statement on community spirit… then included praise for the election results. But absolutely nothing he spoke of was an issue of debate during the election. If anything, it was a clear point of consensus. I have no doubt that each and every candidate would emphatically and enthusiastically agree with the vision he described.

Some candidates volunteer and contribute more to the community than others, but there was no evidentiary pattern in the election results.

The irony of his letter is that, by diminishing other people’s perspectives, he actually undermined his own vision of a community of positive, engaged citizens.

From the November 26 edition of the Peace Arch News: Read on »

escapism in cynicism

November 20, 2008

There is comfort in cynicism. Assuming that someone else’s greed or self-interest is the cause of my problems allows me to deny responsibility. If it’s not my choice and there’s nothing I can do about it, then I can just resent them and not feel any regret for my own choices.

It’s an escape from having to question my own assumptions.

When a decision is being made in the community and I don’t understand it, if I assume that someone is getting their pockets lined, then I don’t have to think any further; I don’t have to empathize with anyone else; I don’t have to consider new ideas or look for information that I might be missing in order for it to make sense; I don’t have to look to see if there are flaws in my own logic or conflicts within my own expectations.

All I have to assume is that someone in power is giving unfair favours in some secret backroom deal – simple escapism from the discomforts of considering the possibility that I might actually end up agreeing with things I don’t like if I learned more about it and considered it with an open mind. Read on »

accountability two-way mirror

November 19, 2008

Can there be positive change without citizen accountability?

There was a lot of talk during this election about transparency and accountability. I fully and completely agree that they are essential for healthy community decision-making. What often gets skipped, however, is the question of who’s decisions should be transparent and who should be accountable?

The obvious answer is that elected representatives must allow citizens to walk with them through the decision-making process. And they must explain and defend their opinions then accept responsibility for their decisions. But what about citizens?

Should elected representatives be the only ones who have to explain how they arrived at their opinion or why they believe something to be true?

It seems there is a sentiment that, like the customer service refrain, the citizen is always right. It doesn’t take much thought to see how badly flawed that expectation is. Read on »

I lost the election

November 16, 2008

I’m sorry. I wish I could say that I tried. But the truth is, I didn’t. And the reality is, it wouldn’t have made much difference even if I did. The people have spoken. This is democracy in action… more to say on that tomorrow.

The preliminary results for White Rock City Council are as follows:

2764 Doug McLean
2705 Lynne Sinclair
2202 James Coleridge
1855 Al Campbell
1853 Mary-Wade Anderson
1809 Helen Fathers

The results for the other candidates are as follows: Read on »

2008 campaign contributions

November 15, 2008

I promised Jean Kromm that I would post a list of who had funded my campaign prior to polls opening on election day. To date, this is everyone who has contributed, aside from myself:

10/21 $100 Ursula Todd
11/02 $50  Robert Ives
11/02 $20  Sue Barrett
11/13 $75  Glenda Bartosh

Some people have told me that they have sent or will send contributions, but nothing other than what is listed above has been received.

I haven’t requested money from anyone. I’ve been paying for everything myself. Everyone who has contributed, or said they would contribute, has done so without being asked.

more 2008 platform details

November 13, 2008

At this stage of a campaign, it’s easy to see what everyone agrees on. And in this campaign, it appears there’s a lot we all agree on.

We all are passionate and dedicated to our community. We all agree that the greatest value and measure of a community is its people. Environmental stewardship and jobs top most lists. And it seems everyone is “listening”.

There is consensus that the current Council is not functional. Everyone wants there to be a more conciliatory approach with more effort for building consensus. It seems generally agreed that the City needs to improve how public dialogue happens in the community.

We also all want more and better sidewalks, public transit and more convenient ways to get to the beach. We are concerned about keeping our roads and sewers to a higher standard of maintenance. And it is agreed that the City should make it easier to be green, and should lead by example.

I also share this vision.

The following are some ideas and goals I have for achieving that vision. Read on »

yet another Coleridge distortion

The mailing sent by Council Candidate Coleridge this week, titled White Rock Election News, contained quite a lot of inflammatory charges and half-truths twisted into new meaning.

I don’t see how this kind of behaviour promotes or supports the kind of community all candidates have said they want for White Rock — one that is friendly and proud. This kind of deceptive campaigning only promotes fear and supports anger. How do you think that effects relationships within the community?

Please note that one “fact” presented by Coleridge is correct only by ignoring other related and important facts. He states that Bosa was permitted “2 additional floors with no additional amenities provided to the City.” The rest of the story is that the additional two floors resulted in a higher purchase price for the City property and higher DCC fees collected. The only reason a larger amenity contribution under the Density Bonus Policy was not received is because the value of what they had already included in their project still far exceeded the amount required — they gave more than they had to, even with the additional two floors.

OCP myth

The Official Community Plan (OCP) is all about building height and density.

The OCP deals with a wide range of important issues, such as parks, jobs, community services, art and heritage.

There are 158 policies. Five are on town centre height and density – discussed on 8 of the 71 pages. Transportation and the environment each have at least twice as many pages and policies.

Though important, town centre building height and density is actually a very small part of the OCP.

You expect your elected representatives to do their research before making decisions about your community.

I do my homework. Because sometimes common sense by itself isn’t enough.

experience & work ethic myth

Matt Todd is inexperienced and doesn’t know hard work.

I wrote several reports without spending a penny on expensive consultants.

My work triggered new bylaws all across the region. I am now on the Executive Board of Directors for the Lower Mainland Local Government Association representing 31 cities.

I have an excellent attendance record for City meetings and a reputation for arriving prepared having read the material provided and done additional research.

Anyone who has worked with me will tell you that I contribute far more than simply attending meetings and ceremonies.

My list of promises might not sound as great as other candidates, but I won’t promise you anything I can’t deliver.

I am honest with you. Because public trust depends on it.