The Gold Standard for Democracy

Whatdemocracylookslike2

Our outgoing Mayor claims, under her leadership of course, that the town has achieved the Gold Standard for Democracy

She made this laughable claim at the Mayors televised debate, you can watch it online here:
http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=70&gid=72502

So what is the “gold standard” for democracy exactly?

Back in April there was a conference in NYC that explored the role of Social Media and Democracy, and The New Era of the Citizen Elect :
SocialMediaDemocracy_Banner.jpg
http://www.advance.org/en/cev/1031/

I am actively searching for any video of this conference as I expect there would be some great debate given the panel.

I am excited to see the influence, which I expect will be substantial, that social media has on our municipal election.

Now if you want to know what kind of democracy we have in Aurora I suggest you read “Appearance and Reality in Public Life”:
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/03/appearance-and-reality-in-public-life.html

Democracy is not the freedom to elect a block of candidates that will run the town’s business as they see fit under the auspices of being elected as a majority.

No thanks, we’ve lived under that for the last 4 years, here’s a short list of some clear examples of how our council and the Gang-of-six have co-opted our democracy.

1.) There was actually a motion that was passed without a vote.

Can’t be done you say, check out a council meeting as recent as September 14th 2010.

There is much discussion surrounding this violation over on the AuroraCitizen here:
http://auroracitizen.ca/2010/10/01/phyllis-morris-still-learning-how-to-call-the-vote/

2.) No by-election was held to replace a member of council.

Even after much public outcry for a democratic vote, the gang-of-(then 5) decided to appoint their 6th member: John Gallo.

He has served on council for the last 2 years without the confidence of the electorate.

3.) The code of conduct used as a tool to restrict council members’ charter rights and freedoms

Democracy is not served by Section 3 of this document.  How anyone can approve such a document or hand over their rights and freedoms by signing it is scary.

An Oath is sworn, and it is this word that we respect from our council members that they will participate democratically on council.

The code of conduct needs to be re-written so that it aligns with the democratic framework all Canadians enjoy.

4.) Blogs have been targeted, and a further restriction of freedom of speech has been forced by our council.

A law suit motioned by the Mayor has been filed against the very citizens these council members have taken an oath to serve.

It goes against the precedent set by the Supreme court of Canada.

5.) Operating outside of the framework requiring a minimum # of votes to form a viable majority.

Minutes from council Meeting from Tuesday, May 12, 2009 :
http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?ArticleID=2769&lang=en-CA

Read:

THAT the provisions within the Procedural By-law be waived to allow the comments to be introduced as part of the record.

 CARRIED

The Mayor obviously was using her “New Math” because to everyone else we know that 5/8 < 2/3.

No matter, it’s only democracy.

6.) Obvious block voting has transpired for the entire term of council.

S. Lee’s article in the Auroran reinforces the flamboyant way that council has affronted democracy and voted as a block.  I have included it here:
bullying.jpg

Point #1 is further proof of block voting as this is exactly what the mayor did, look to her left, make sure she has the votes and then proceed.

I have previously commented on the block voting and the gang-of-six here:
http://christopherwatts.posterous.com/the-gang-of-6-who-are-they-who-votes-with-who

We have an opportunity to exercise our democratic right to vote, and to enact some much needed change here in Aurora.

I wish to revisit a line from Sher’s last spam-email :

“It appears democracy is being challenged by bullies.  Don’t give them power.”

I agree.

The bullies are :

MORRIS, Phyllis

GAERTNER, Wendy

GRANGER, Stephen

MacHEKRON, Evilina

GALLO, John

WILSON, Al

BALLARD, Chris

Don’t give them power!

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