"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What's That You Say!!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Lookit Here":

"If you ever had the experience of listening endlessly to the same point being made over and over, a dozen different ways until Friday, you know how every ounce of energy can be sucked out of a room?"
Sort of like reading this blog then isn't it?
Come on. You are all for "informing" the public about what goes on at council but you have misgivings about letting the public address council? What sort of democracy are you looking for? As a council, you have the obligation to listen to the public.
Suck it up!


There are different kinds of  government.

There's the American style which I know little of. I understand they have something called a town hall meeting which allows everyone  to participate in decision making. When I say  everyone, I mean everyone who lives within a defined area.

I've  seen it maybe once in a movie.

The late Richard Illingworth  talked about  it wistfully. Dick always minded  not being able to participate vociferously at Council meetings. So much, he  would explode occasionally with an expletive deleted .

We don't have that style of town hall meeting here.

We hold elections. Not enough for my liking. We elect a Mayor and eight Councillors to make decisions.

We are not masters in our own house. We are creatures of the Province and  governed by a Municipal Act.

Council chambers are designed to separate the public from the elected body. In the Provincial House  and Federal Parliament there are galleries to accommodate the public.

In the Federal House and the British Parliament, it's called the Strangers Gallery to signify  the difference of being in that place but not being elected.

 It goes back to the time when a Monarch governed. There was a House of Commons and even the  Monarch had to have Black Rod knock on the door of the  House to gain entry.

It was symbolic of the power of the people.

Much has changed  but we are still a Monarchy.

We still swear allegiance to the Queen  and the Law of the Land when we take the Oath of Office.

Only those elected ,who have been delegated  authority from the people, are entitled to make decisions for the people.

For obvious reasons, an elected person is wise to listen , consult  at every opportunity, create and keep open lines of communication like I do here, and provide opportunity to address Council when  controversy arises.

 Addressing Council is  a privilege.  The majority understands that.

Invariably, a person who addresses Council, closes with precisely that wording. They need no coaching. "Thank you for the privilege of addressing Council" 

A privilege is something of value.It can be granted or taken away.

It should not be abused. Judgment should be exercised.

I was asked once if I put myself on a pedestal because of being a Councillor. I responded that I put the Office of Councillor on a pedestal.

I believe  respect for office is shared  by the community.

 I do not believe a Council  meeting is a place for delegates to appear in numbers,to hammer home a particular point of view with the objective of pummelling  council into submission.

I think that's an abuse of privilege.

If that sucks the breath out of my smart-assed commenter, that would be precisely my objective
Nobody is compelled to read the blog. Why do it if it sucks the energy out of you?
You obviously don't know your own best interest. Never have.
Elected representation at a municipal level is not the same thing as wielding power.
It doesn't  mean you get to destroy people's lives
It doesn't mean you get to steal a building out from under people who  put their heart and soul  and financial resources into preserving it for fifty years.
I  will  bet my last dollar and my last breath to prove  to you and anybody else with that illusion, you can't do that in Canada and get off Scot free.


Anonymous said...

It's always about 'democracy' when they emerge from their hiding places and wish to speechify. But the rest of us lowly residents should just shut up. Hey, why not ? It's just our money and our building. Never heard a word of thanks - " They are great and good " will be the mantra for the night and that will not refer to the Town. It will apply to the Patrons who just happened to have stumbled on their lifetime dream. A pox on the lot of them !

Anonymous said...

What did Aurora ever do to become such a hub of intrigue for a bunch of nut-bars ? First we have to deal with a council of lawyers and rich friends who spent our money like waters and got involved in 3 on-going lawsuits. Then the same coterie stole our lovely new building created to house cultural events and a museum and turned it into a slush fund for friends and hangers-on, all at our expense. They say like are attracted to like but why did we get so damn many monsters in Aurora?