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Editorials

Does Canadian history repeat itself?

Saturday, February 22, 2014   by: David Poluck

William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950) was the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of Canada and presided over some of the most important modifications to Canadian society.

While in office his government began Unemployment Insurance, Old Age Pensions and Family Allowance.

You will be hard pressed to find very many Canadians today who think these things are bad ideas, oh sure they have their faults as all things do, but they are not bad ideas.

The man was not charismatic but he did care about the people, proving that even in politics substance can triumph over form. King was also Prime Minister during World War Two, an event that arguably defined Canada on the world stage.

If you doubt me, go ask the Dutch for an opinion on Canada.

I am going to give you my favorite King quotes: “Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.”

Let us think about this for a moment.

How dangerous is a lack of public input and what causes a lack of public opinion come about?

This dichotomy has bedeviled democracy from the very early stages.

On the one side is the governing body, the nation, the city, what have you while the other is the electorate, the people.

Either side can act to reduce the amount of public opinion.

On the governing side there are sadly far too many examples from all over the world of Democratic Republics that were anything but, but the other side of the coin is less clear.

The people, what could they possibly do to create a situation where there is little or no public opinion?

It is actually surprisingly simple, by doing nothing. If you are silent, you acquiesce.

Complaining is not what I am speaking about, if you complain over coffee, a glass of wine or beer you are still being silent.

The person across the table from you is only very rarely an elected representative.

For example Sault Ste. Marie has about 75,000 people but only 13 sit on council that is only a fraction of a percent.

Unless you address your concerns to people at city hall, you are still being silent.

In fact you're abdicating both your rights and your responsibilities as a citizen.

Can we as a community do better and improve?

I think the answer is a big YES

On February 27 in Russ Ramsay Room from 7-9 as an Association of Ratepayer we are meeting to discuss and collaborate and get thing moving.

There are two-planned presentations ”Preliminary Budget and the proposed “Continuous Improvement Committee” as a committee of council.

This is a fully open meeting to all ratepayers, so please don’t be shy..bring a friend tell a neighbor but plan to attend.

Need further information contact us at saultratepayers@hotmail.com or call 705-253-2645

 

Comments
2
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Javaman 2/22/2014 4:24:12 PM Report

David...would you be in favour of having only ONE ward rep rather than two ? It seems to me this city could be well served with only one and reap some savings from the tax payers expenses.
David Poluck 2/22/2014 5:33:14 PM Report

Java, Would one ward Councillor be sufficient?

I agree that there would be a visible monetary savings at the beginning but in the end would one person be able to handle the work of two and make it all less productive? I really don't know if we would be better or not?

J..A very good question!







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