pass the “democracy gold” would ya?

Ethics-guidelines-wpcbe090205

Who defines “acceptable political commentary” here in Aurora?

Certainly neither former and one-term mayor Phyllis Morris or loyal supporter Catherine Marshall as pointed out in Bill Croker’s excellent letter on page 6 of this week’s Auroran.  You can read it here: 

V12N01P06-moral.pdf
Download this file

And it looks like “AuroraGuy” is not the run-to-guy either after Eric Johnson, an Associate Professor of Law from the University of North Dakota chimed in this week on his blog “Blog Law Blog” here: http://bloglawblog.com/blog/?p=3544.

“The discontinuance is functionally a vindication for the defendants, who are blog proprietor-moderators William Hogg and Elizabeth Bishenden, contributor Richard Johnson, three anonymous commenters, and host WordPress.com.”

David Nitkin, our first Integrity Comissioner may have been able to contribute, had he been allowed to.

Interesting how he was fired for his job yet is the current President of EthicScan Canada and this past Tuesday October 25th was a guest speaker for the Canadian Centre for ethics and corporate policy : http://ethicscentre.ca/EN/

It is also interesting that Morris was instructed to “cease and desist” in comments she made related to him.

With Morris’ outrageous $6-million lawsuit collapsed under the burden of proof she was unable, or unwilling to provide, and with the courts ruling in favour of freedom of expression, there is one question remaining.

Who is going to defend the “gold standard of democracy” and champion the code of conduct (and/or ethics) the former mayor was so proud of personally bestowing upon the town?

Upon starting his term Clr. Ballard was in favour of keeping the Integrity Commissioner.  Of course he flip-flopped more recently and voted against it.  Excellent demonstration of integrity there.

Clr. Gallo seems wish-washy on the whole thing too.

Clr Gartner however seems to be chomping at the bit to tackle this role.

Gartner constantly refers to the code of ethics/conduct and I posted previously as to the Clr’s comments at the October 11th meeting here:  http://christopherwatts.posterous.com/100-watts-situation-critical

From a November 2nd Auroran in 2010 Gaertner was quoted as saying :

“many of us don’t understand what damage can be done by anonymous comments made in the blogosphere. I think out of respect for everybody on council, everybody on staff, everybody in the community, that we need to decide what can and cannot be allowed in the new social media.”

I hope this recent expensive and unnecessary ordeal clarifies for the Clr. what she and a handful of people in town didn’t understand, but I have my doubts.

Perhaps I am the only one who finds it incredibly hypocritical of the Clr. to profess the following in her inaguration speech:

“The prime responsibility of a councilor is to server their constituents needs….I trust that we will be able to set aside our ego and self interest and work only to do what is right for Aurora.”

and then a recent meeting spend an inordinate amount of both council and staff’s time trying to ascertain how the mechanism of ejecting a member from the council chamber works, as though there was some immediate need for it to be applied.

Obviously Clr. Gaertner’s preoccupation with punishment is reinforcing for her how it is such an important tool for her in trying to reach her objective of setting aside ego and self interest.

It was Abraham Lincoln who once said :

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” 

Penn Jillette made an apperance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher Friday October 14th where he made an interesting point about morality, which was this:

“If you’re doing what you’re doing for reward or punishment it’s not morality….we need to teach our children to act in ways that are moral when there is no fear or reward.”

Sounds very similar to the sentiment that was heard loud and clear during the last election campaign : you can’t legislate integrity.

But you can vote for those that you feel have it.

The part that remains now is cleaning up all the crayon scribbles everywhere from those that don’t.
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