Comment 70570

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2011 at 13:47:22 in reply to Comment 70567

Just suggesting that it would be handy to have a reference that laid bare the political record of our elected officials.(Just as it would be useful, if tedious, to have archives of council meeting audio/video.) "Extremely useful" inasmuch as it does not currently exist in an one-stop resource.

If you're familiar with the GCL example, you'll recall that they consulted with the community extensively about their priorities, then sifted votes related to the issues in question.

http://www.guelphcivicleague.ca/archive/VR2010/GCL-VR-2010.pdf

Not an easy task but with 26 months until the next municipal election season opens, surely it's worth looking into. So, too, a rigorous campaign of engagement that actively seeks engagement from every ward in the city. Luckily, there's enough time to make a couple of laps around the city with monthly town halls.

I'm not discounting the value of town halls as a forum for in-depth discourse. They, too, are "extremely useful." I'm simply suggesting that tools such as voting records can help catalyse larger change.

My note about "time served" is just to point out that there is already a lineage that is likely to exhibit patterns of behaviour. Omit the three newbies and council has collectively been around for three terms. I don't overlook the value of experience; what I would point out is that the track record of councillors serves as a reasonable predictor of how they will conduct themselves in the future. Not calling it good or bad. Not saying that knowing something about how politicians have voted is more or less valuable than talking politics with your neighbours. Just trusting in the intelligence of our fellow citizens and their ability to make informed choices about the governance of the city.

Maybe that's a lot to ask. I would hope not. Surely all citizens might find information of that sort useful -- whether they're already the 40% who voted in the last civic election or they're in the majority who didn't. I should think that it would be as hard to get politically apathetic people to spend an evening at town hall as it would making sense of a voting record breakdown. But really, all the change-seekers should do as they think best. Good on you for setting it in motion.

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