Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nanaimo Civic Election Shenanigans

'Back Room' Manipulations Already?
According to an article in the local Daily, the back room antics are already being played out in the local civic by-election. Considering that nominations are not even officially official it seems a bit early. It also is an indication of why our system needs an overhaul.

Apparently candidates Greves, Fuller and Olsen are in a three way race, not for support from the general population, but rather an endorsement by the Nanaimo, Duncan and District Labour Council.

In this little drama local candidate Fuller claims he was approached by a Greves supporter suggesting that if Fuller withdrew from the race, Greves would be a shoe-in to win a seat on council in the by-election. Greves would then endorse Fuller in the regular civic election in the fall. The call apparently came from Mark Robinson, whom Greves claims to have no connection with, and further says he gave Robinson no direction to contact Fuller.

At this point, this is one of those 'he said, she said' deals and you are left to your own judgment as to who is giving the straight goods.

What I see as a major flaw in our democratic system is brought into the light with this little bit of political intrigue; That flaw is that candidates are vying for large blocks of support from groups who clearly have an agenda and want 'a dog in the fight', presumably so that candidate will side with the special interest groups, special interests. Whether those interests are for the good of the community as a whole is where the 'rub' comes in.

Traditionally, Nanaimo has been a major battleground with a huge rift between labour and management / business. You can bet that money from both camps will be directed to the campaigns where the best return can be realized. By that I mean, support from labour and business will be given to the candidates felt to give best support to either cause.

Those with a pro-labour bent can not likely be expected to oppose the tightening of the purse strings if it will affect organized labour. Those with a pro-business bent can not be expected to support increasing taxes in the commercial sector or increasing DCC's for that matter.

Either way, pro-labour or pro-business there never seems to be any organization throwing their support behind the pro-average taxpayer, and therein lies the rub.


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