We are truly fortunate in Red Deer to have access to the collective wisdom of our mayor and council.
Thank goodness they know when to intervene on our behalf and say ‘No way!’ No way are Red Deer voters smart enough to know what an extended stop sign on the side of a school bus means. We even lack the intelligence required to decide for ourselves whether our water supply should contain fluoride.
Luckily what we lack in intelligence we compensate for in brain processing speed; while driving 50 km/,h we can decode hieroglyphic bike lane road lines that move from one side of the street to the other.
When council met on Feb. 4, Mayor Morris Flewwelling, along with Councillors Paul Harris, Tara Veer, Diane Wyntjes and Lynne Mulder said ‘No. Red Deerians are not smart enough to decide how they elect councillors.’
They were not deciding if we should change the way councillors are elected, only whether the electorate should be consulted by direct, objective and measurable means.
In a cowardly act of political self-preservation, the above councillors chose to keep their access to proportionally large blocks of votes that feed their personal campaigns while lacking representative significance based on where you live in the city.
Does that smell a bit like a conflict of interest to you?
They quite like the “popularity contest” model that gives the advantage to those councillors who bring a block of votes from their church congregation, labour union or Twitter account, but dilutes the significance of your and my vote to deal with issues that impact our neighbourhoods.
This gives councillors an easy out to ignore you when you don’t fit into one of their swing groups.
Don’t believe me? Try addressing a local issue with email@example.com some time. The lack of responses and “cookie cutter” replies will likely disappoint you.
Paul, Lynne, Tara and Diane, you’ve been caught in bed with your special interest groups, the rest of us want a divorce.