Friday, November 25, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - More local politics

I seem to be in a bit of a political mood this week. I didn't set out for it to be this way: I'm never fully sure what I'm going to write about until I sit down and start writing. I often start writing through a couple of story ideas before I let them battle it out. One wins, the other (or others, as the case may be) will simply wither on the screen.

This one jumped out at me because it dealt with one of my favorite anti-democratic bodies, the Ontario Municipal Board. As a free-speech-crusading journalist, few things bug me more than government-sanctioned bodies that ram decisions down the population's throat - which the OMB has done repeatedly since I started writing about them.

For once, though, I think the OMB sorta got it right this time. So I felt somewhat compelled to get off my usual critic's chair and give them the writer's equivalent of a pat on the back.

I still think the OMB is undemocratic, and I'll still flay it when I think it has crossed a line. But for now, I'm smiling.
New ward system will drive change
Published Friday, November 25, 2005
The London Free Press

I’ve long criticized the Ontario Municipal Board for its heavy-handed rulings that have often gone against the will of the communities it supposedly serves. But I may become an OMB fan in light of its latest position on London’s municipal roadmap.

The OMB’s order to London to replace its current seven-ward system with 14 smaller wards has raised cheers from citizen advocacy groups. City councillors who oppose this ruling have said the new system will make it easier for special interest groups to hijack the city’s agenda. I think they worry too much.

This city needs a good shakeup. Tax rates have consistently outpaced the rate of inflation. Services have been cut. City hall has been rocked by one embarrassing and expensive controversy after another. Civic bureaucracy has steadfastly resisted calls for change.

Something needed to change, and like it or not, London’s new ward system will form the basis for driving that change.

Any city councillors who aren’t comfortable with this might want to find a new line of work.

-30-

20 comments:

Kate The Great said...

Nice blog, Carmi. Nice to see there's another journalist out there who passionately defends free speech. I'm fighting the jaded cynicism, too.

Cheers.

Dave said...

Hi Carmi, here from Michele. By the way how do you get your Flikr pictures onto your blog?

Valerie said...

Hi carmi visiting from michele's. Very interesting post and I am glad you are fighting for free speech.

Lisa said...

Hello, Michele sent me!

Brown sugar and milk is the ONLY way to eat Oatmeal, if you ask me! ;-) I'll be back!!

Trillian said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Carmi. London has been slow to change with the times and considering property taxes, I can't believe the services that have been cut. In my town, the snow plow came through my subdivision twice last night. While driving around in London subdivisions (even the ones where property taxes are sky-high) it was obvious that the plows had not been through.

Any city councillor that opposes the new ward system is basically saying that they don't really want to represent all of the communities in London. Those that don't oppose it know that they've already been doing just that.

craziequeen said...

Oh, politics confuses me - must be the pink and fluffy side of me....

I don't understand how can people who are responsible for our health and welfare make such a pigs ear of the job?

cq
MSM :-)

WendyWings said...

MSM :)

I admit I have a tendancy to zone out during political discussions. I am with Crazie must be the pink and fluffy side of me too LOL

Juggling Mother said...

Hi Carmi

Here from Micheles

Surely more wards would make it more difficult for special interest groups to take over?

But I can't really make any informed comment as I don't know the details of the OMB, or even Canada's political structure!

Oh well, something to research:-)

Chas Ravndal said...

Hello Carmi thanks for dropping by on my blog and sorry i forgot to greet you a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope this is not late.. TC

Maria said...

It seems politics and politicians are the same everywhere. Just different names and different games.

margalit said...

You said "government-sanctioned bodies that ram decisions down the population's throat -"

Are you speaking of the war in Iraq... oh, that's MY government. And yes, drives me just as batty!

Michele...

craziequeen said...

'games' is the word.....

hi Carmi, here from Michele's again...

cq

kenju said...

I suspect that what you said here could be printed in almost any American city and be somewhat true for them also.

Carmi, Michele sent me tonight, but I was working my way through the list to you anyway.

Oreo said...

I hope you & your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be careful with that turkey! Mom just tolded me it's got a sleepin drug in it! She shoulda tolded me afore....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Wish I knew what this was all about, but it sounds like YOU do, and that is what matters! Here from Michele this time Carmi, though I certainly might have stopped by on my own!!! (lol)

David said...

here from the michele machine, envy of bloggers everywhere... Shalom!

RC said...

Cool! I'm not the only one fighting people higher up than me, which makes me feel like I have a chance to save our tree!

Thanks for visiting my blog, Carmi! I hope you have a nice weekend!

Tammy said...

Hi Carmi!

I have GOT to get my hubby to read you...he grew up in Canada. He'd be thrilled to hear that they're doing something positive for once!

Michele sent me, but like many others, I would have found my way on my own. :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Back again, Carmi..this time from the wonderful Michele's Meet & Greet!, But, I no doubt would have come to visit anyway!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Carmi...
I swear I just left a comment...Oh Dear! Am I going dotty???
Here from the wonderful Michele's, again! Love these Meet & Greets, don't you?