The Death of Local Democracy?

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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 61% of local voters chose not to. Why? That’s a question that keeps me awake at night. It’s as … click below for more ↓

Ontario, I Am Ashamed and Embarrassed

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This morning, Ontario, I am ashamed of you. Ontario, you had an opportunity to do the right thing, and chose — deliberately chose — not to. I am ashamed and embarrassed by your choice. And that includes your choice not to vote. At stake was the future of this province; its education, healthcare, environment, libraries, long-term care; at stake were our seniors, and our children. None of that mattered to Ontario. Instead of voting for a better future, Ontario voted for Doug Ford. Well, not … click below for more ↓

No, Brian Hasn’t Done Any of That!

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You probably got one of these disinformation campaign cards in your mail this week. It says that Brian Saunderson and Doug “Jabba the Hutt” Ford are “putting money in your pocket.” And then it lists three things Ford did by himself without Brian’s help. Or input. Or even vote because, after all, he’s been the MIA mayor of Collingwood, not an MPP. So how did the unelected (and, I hope, unelectable) Brian do anything like this? He didn’t. Are these claims disingenuous? Or disinformation? Or … click below for more ↓

Saunderson’s Your Guy

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With the provincial election only a few days away, I thought I should remind you why you might want to vote for Collingwood’s much-disliked, hypocritical, bullying, and inept mayor, Brian Saunderson. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve likely read the dozens and dozens of posts I’ve written over the years about his failure to act in even a vague pretense of a leadership role, his hypocrisy, his mismanagement, his personal vendetta, and the constant conflicts of interest he ignores. But just as … click below for more ↓

Debunking Poilievre’s Tweets Part 1

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Pierre Poilievre — aka Skippy — tweets a lot. A lot. Not quite in the Donald-Trump-tweeting-on-the-toilet range, but close. And he often repeat-tweets his angry, bumper-sticker slogans that are little more than libertarian micro rages. They are big on emotion but empty on substance. no details, facts, or anything even vaguely resembling a coherent platform that would benefit Canadians. His Twitter profile lists him as “Member of Parliament for Carleton and candidate for Prime Minister of Canada” which is pretty arrogant, given that he’s not … click below for more ↓

Ecclestone’s New Endeavour

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I see from emails he has been sending out that former councillor Cam “Sleepy” Ecclestone has decided to run in the upcoming provincial election as a member of the Consensus Party — an unknown, fringe party that hasn’t got the proverbial snowball’s hope in hell of getting a seat, especially not in this riding. That takes guts. Or maybe utter stu… but you have to admire him for putting himself on the firing line like this. The same way you admire drunken people running with … click below for more ↓

Should Candidates and Officials Disclose Criminal Records?

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Some questions about openness and truth to consider as we start a year in which we have both a provincial and municipal election coming… Should a candidate for office disclose their criminal records when they campaign? Should they disclose it only if they were convicted of an offence or should they disclose charges as well? For full public transparency and accountability, should officeholders disclose any charges and convictions? Should candidates or officeholders disclose when they have been or are being sued and why? Would you … click below for more ↓

The Corrupt PC Nomination Process

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This week, Stella Ambler, a former candidate for the nomination for the PC party in Simcoe Grey, sent an email that expressed her disappointment over the party’s authoritarian actions: On Monday, Patrick Harris (4th Vice-President, PC Party of Ontario & Chair of the Provincial Nomination Committee for Simcoe-Grey) sent an official reply to my appeal of the decision to cancel the democratic nomination process here in Simcoe-Grey. In short, Mr. Harris informed me that my appeal was unworthy of the party’s consideration and would be … click below for more ↓

Saunderson: An Affront to Democracy

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PC nominee candidate Stella Ambler reported that her competitor, Brian Saunderson was anointed appointed as the party’s candidate for Simcoe-Grey without allowing the members to decide if they want him. Party members weren’t even given a warning that this was coming: the autocrat premier merely waved his hands and made it happen without regard to the desires of the party’s members. Ambler wrote in a recent email: This is a very disappointing development, and represents an affront to the democratic right of the members of … click below for more ↓

Time of Use Billing is an Assault

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By returning to the money-grabbing time-of-use (TOU) billing, Ontario’s Hydro One continues its unrelenting assault on the province’s seniors, stay-at-home parents, the unemployed, night shift workers, those under lockdown, and every business and industry here. Time-of-use billing has always been nothing more than an egregious money grab by the service provider. This customer-hostile practice had been briefly halted during part of the pandemic because so many of us had to stay at home as the result of provincial lockdown orders. It’s tough to pay your … click below for more ↓

Whatever happened to conservatives?

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It’s hard to believe these days, but in many nations, conservative political parties were once actually the defenders of the nation’s interests, of the greater good, of the public, and of the state. They weren’t always the corporate shills, protectors of billionaires, privatizing libertarians, lobbyist puppets, Talibangelist lapdogs*, and racists they all seem to be today. No, once upon a time they actually cared about their country and its people, not just themselves and the firms that own them. Look at the Republicans in the … click below for more ↓

Two conferences and a show

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I had the honour and the enjoyment of attending two municipal conferences last week. While no longer directly involved in politics, I am able to keep my finger in some of the political pies through my current work for an NGO. Plus, I like to remain informed and up-to-date about politics and governance, and am always looking for opportunities to increase my knowledge and understanding of pretty much any topic. The first event was the Ontario Water Conference, in Windsor. While predominantly a technical and operations event … click below for more ↓

The Political Agnostic

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Watching the American political debates, especially the increasingly vituperative and acerbic Republican debates, reminds me again why I am a political agnostic when it comes to party politics. I simply cannot believe that any single political entity, any party or person, has all the answers or can dig us out of whatever hole we’re currently in. And America, with its rigid, two-party system, has seen its electoral options, choices and opportunities reduced to caricature status. On one side, a group of frighteningly racist, homophobic, xenophobic, … click below for more ↓

Proportional Representation in Canada

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[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laUPeXZlPEg] Another Canadian election has gone by where the majority government is formed by a party winning only 40% of the popular vote. This has political watchers and pundits increasingly vocal about changing the electoral system. But most of them agree it needs changing. So far, however, the Liberals are mum on how their campaign promise to reform our electoral system will be implemented. And while I have faith our new Prime Minister will be true to his word, since it will come from a committee … click below for more ↓

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