Re: Trying to form a conservative slate for the 2014 city election

Re: Trying to form a conservative slate for the 2014 city election
Posted on December 18, 2013 | James O'Grady | Written on December 18, 2013
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Publisher:
Ottawa Citizen

Slates in municipal politics are not good because once elected they reduce the power of residents to influence local policy and decision making. I imagine the conservative elements in Ottawa want to do something to counter act Jim Watson's slate of candidates.

For those who are unaware, Watson ran a slate of candidates in 2010 and will do so again in 2014. One problem with it was that he denied it when asked, yet did it anyway. Mark Taylor had to take down a posting on Facebook exhaling the virtues of Watson's slate early on in the 2010 campaign, after Mary Pitt went public denying Watson had organized a slate of municipal candidates.

While I understand the desire to work like a political party because its easier to campaign as a team rather than as an individual, the interests of 'slates' run counter to that of 'residents' because they tend to be funded by interest and lobby groups rather than individual voters.

Our municipal governance model is flawed and needs to be fixed. Slates will only compound the problem of diminishing voter impact on policy, not solve it. Just look at what has happened to this Council with eight pro-Watson councillors voting in favour of everything he puts forward, no matter how ill conceived or unethical it may be. It has made it impossible for Council to have intelligent, public debates around the Council table because if you speak up, as one councillor has told me, you get branded and isolated.

The consensus Council votes then, like the latest Transportation Master Plan, should be seen in this light rather than that being put forward... ie. there is a lot of disagreement behind the scenes but the arm twisting, bullying and threats going on behind closed doors create the appearance (only) of harmony.

In the 2014 municipal election campaign, I am looking for candidates who will commit to representing the interests of their constituents only and no one else. Lobbyists, interest groups, political parties, etc. be damned!

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James OGrady's picture

I am a social media entrepreneur, communications professional, part-time school teacher and community leader living in Nepean, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate... More