As the ballots start to trickle in, the campaigns wind down. The Collingwood election is essentially over – we’re just waiting for the results now. But if you haven’t cast your ballot yet, here are some things to consider before you make your choices.
This municipal election has been polarized along several lines, but your basic choices are fairly simple: binary choices, if you will, about what sort of local government you want for next term. Choices between good and bad.
The primary axis has been:
Positive versus negative
Some candidates have had a positive attitude, refused to engage in personal attacks, and shown civility and respect to other candidates. Others have accused, made allegations, belittled, insulted and been generally disrespectful to their fellow candidates.
It’s up to you, the voters, to decide which attitude you would rather have prevail in your next council. Do you want four years of continual negativity? Or a positive, healthy, respectful one?
I hope you consider me among the positive candidates.
Informed versus misinformed
A lot of misinformation has been flying around about the debt, about taxes, about the new recreational facilities, staff and other issues, most of it coming from the negative candidates. Figures from our treasurer and our auditor have been questioned. Actual facility and building costs have been ignored and wildly inaccurate figures tossed about as a scare tactic.
Do you want to elect people who are either misinformed or have actually lied about factual information? Will you be able to trust what they say once elected? Or do you want a council you can trust?
I hope you consider me among the informed candidates.
Visionary versus critical
Some candidates have a vision. Positive candidates offer solutions, alternatives, directions, talk about projects and growth, plan for the future and identify opportunities. Some just criticize and complain; eagerly denigrate what others propose, downplay council’s achievements and demand things already accomplished – without offering any positive, beneficial solutions.
Which will best lead us forward next term: visionaries or their critics?
I hope you consider me among the visionary candidates.
You have some clear choices. You can elect a council that works well together, people who have shared vision, people who can work with and respect one another. You can elect a mayor and deputy mayor with experience, with passion for their role, and who believe in an inclusive council that engages all of its members to be their most effective.
Or you can elect a divisive, exclusionary, negative and critical group, fronted by angry leaders, hobbled by an inexperienced deputy mayor – knowing that the result of this choice will be turbulence and chaos through four years of ineffective governance and squabbling.
It’s up to you. it’s your future council.
PS. You don’t need to vote for ALL seven members of council. You can vote for fewer. Vote only for those who you think would be the best choices and if that is less than seven, don’t waste votes on anyone you’re not absolutely sure of. I hope I have your support and your vote.