The Municipal Voting Debacle

On voting day, Oct. 24, Collingwood’s online voting system suffered serious problems that prevented residents from voting. This happened not once, but twice in the same day. Voting had been open online and via paper ballot (at the library) since Oct. 3, but apparently many people decided to wait until the last day to vote. Yet on the last day, Oct. 24, barely an hour before … (more–>)

The Death of Local Democracy?

Thirty nine per cent. That was the risible turnout of voters for the local municipal election here in Collingwood. Significantly fewer than half of our eligible voters made the effort to participate in our democracy, even though they could vote in person or on the internet for three weeks. It was never easier to cast a ballot, never been more convenient, never took less time, yet … (more–>)

What Happened to Trebor?

Back in late 2020, local media was singing the praises of a new company called Trebor RX at 395 Raglan Street in Collingwood. Its entrepreneurial owner, George Irwin, promised great things for the new plant and its innovative products, including creating up to 100 new jobs.* The idea sprouted in spring, 2020, when Irwin got the idea to start making masks in Collingwood, and when offered … (more–>)

Thank You for Your Support!

Thank you to everyone who endorsed my nomination papers, who donated to my campaign, who took a lawn sign, and, of course, who voted for me in this 2022 municipal election. Three thousand, three hundred and forty seven of you believed in what I stood for and voted for me; a mere five votes shy of winning a seat on council. That was 38.1% of all … (more–>)

Should mayoral candidates endorse council candidates?

One of Collingwood’s current mayoral candidates is doing meet-n-greet events and openly endorsing a fixed slate of the seven council candidates she wants to be elected with her (but not, curiously, a deputy-mayor; see below). Is this appropriate for a would-be mayor? I don’t believe so. First, in the last two terms, we’ve seen how a slate of candidates can negatively affect governance by voting en … (more–>)

How to Win an Election

Anyone running for office should consider reading How to Win an Election, by Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman. It’s a short, small book subtitled An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press, 2012). It contains both the Latin and the English translation of Quintus’ letter to his more famous brother, the orator Marcus Cicero. Quintus penned it in 64 BCE when Marcus decided … (more–>)

Another Abuse of Power and Position

As this term of council winds down, with only a few weeks before the election, it seems some members at the table can’t help themselves abusing their position and their power. Their sense of entitlement is an embarrassing display. At tomorrow’s council meeting (Sept. 20), Councillor Jeffery will make the following notice of motion: THAT Council appoint Acting Deputy Mayor McLeod as Deputy Mayor for the duration … (more–>)

What About the Code of Conduct?

I attended a two-hour seminar hosted by the town about Collingwood’s Code of Conduct last week. It was intended as an introduction to the policy for new candidates and a refresher for incumbents, and was presented by the town’s Integrity Commissioner, whose slides ranged from conflicts of interest to accountability, from public behaviour to confidentiality. Councillor Bob Madigan wasn’t there. Four incumbents running in this election … (more–>)

Just Gonna Leave This Here…

This headline appeared in CollingwoodToday: “Town councillor, deputy-mayor candidate charged with assault.” In Simcoe.com (Collingwood Connection), the headline was “Collingwood councillor, deputy mayor candidate Bob Madigan facing assault charges.” Bob Madigan is running for deputy mayor of Collingwood. Is this the sort of behaviour you want in your elected representatives? Given his past behaviour, this latest event didn’t surprise me. But by the time this reached … (more–>)

Hobbesian vs Benthamite Politics

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was not an optimist about human behaviour. Writing more than a century after Niccolo Machiavelli, the English political philosopher argued in his masterwork, Leviathan (1651), that the quest for power was the main motivation for humans. And that our quest to acquire more would never cease until we were dead. He wrote: …in the first place, I put for a general inclination of … (more–>)

Ancient Election Wisdom

I recently came across this piece by Marcus Tullius Cicero (one of my favourite classical authors) on the Sententiae Antiquae website (a good source of classical Latin and Greek translations), taken from Cicero’s oration Pro Murena (35-36). Lucius Licinius Murena was elected as his election as consul in 62 BCE but was subsequently accused of bribery. He was defended by  Cicero, who recorded his speech for … (more–>)

What Just Happened?

I was startled to see that one of our candidates for municipal election — the third person in the deputy mayor’s race — dropped out shortly after submitting her papers. According to the town’s web page, Jordan Fleming filed her papers at 11:34 a.m. on August 19; two-and-a-half hours before nominations closed. She withdrew at 2:54 p.m. on Aug. 24. According to the interview in CollingwoodToday, … (more–>)

Please Take an Election Sign

C ollingwood residents: I would very much appreciate it if you would  allow me to place one of my election signs on your lawn. Please fill in your name, phone and address in the comments section below. This information will NOT be published and will be deleted after the election and signs have been removed. Alternatively, send me an email or call me to request one. Signs … (more–>)

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