Saturday, 20 September 2008

Voter Distrust

On Sept. 5 the Calgary Herald published a story on recent polling telling us the public distrusts the various levels of government to do the right thing. Recent events in the Crowsnest Pass show that distrust is well justified.Council played games with the fate of the Crowsnest Centre to the point of frustrating enough people to sign a petition demanding council to bring to a plebiscite a bylaw "That the municipality of Crowsnest Pass ensure the continuing existence and operation of Crowsnest Centre property (Plan 731227, Block H, containing 3.51 hectares), be used for public and community purposes as a community and learning centre and for providing other municipal services". The right thing for council to do would have been to do what 600 or so voters in the Crowsnest Pass asked council to do in their petition.

Council, unfortunately, chose to ignore the rights of the citizens to petition their government to simply bring to a public vote a question on a bylaw as they wanted to see put in place. Council instead chose to make amendments to the requested bylaw that would ensure the defeat of the petioners' bylaw by placing unrealistic demands on the municipality's 2009 budget.

Is it any wonder that 51% of the people distrust their local government?