Thursday, March 8, 2012
Of Local Elections, Local Leadership...Local Engagement, Part Three
What would term limits mean?
I believe they'd mean that we'd be swapping experience for new faces...for the sake of having some variety.
I believe they'd mean that we'd be swapping consistency for 'new blood'...in the hope that this infusion makes for different body movements from Council.
But most of all, I believe they'd mean we'd be providing residents an easy-out, removing any onus of responsibility where it comes to contributing towards their own governance.
This seems like a piss-poor solution to the conundrum of qualified incumbents and 'career politicians'.
I believe that instead, if we had double the residents voting that we have casting ballots now...up around 80%...and that if the vast majority of these were voting according to informed, qualified opinions they assembled after methodically and thoughtfully, rather than by 'name recognition'...
...that if people were engaged in their communities and didn't regard local governance as an 'Us vs Them' situation, that if they worked with their councillors, created a truly collaborative construct within which municipal affairs unfolded...
...that term limits wouldn't be an issue.
Having the best local governance isn't about giving everyone a chance to become a councillor. While I cannot guarantee that the best possible candidate gets in every time, I can guarantee that this variation on 'affirmative action' would undoubtedly be a much worse prospect.
So, here's my bottom-line suggestion: rather than focus on coming up with limits on councillors...why don't we focus on expanding our own?
Lord knows we got plenty of potential to work with.
M Adrian Brassington