A little dissension isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even on municipal council.
Sicamous residents have had an opportunity to hear their local candidates for mayor and council at an all-candidates meeting, and vote in the advanced poll. In doing so, some voters have no doubt weighed, or are weighing the pros and cons of each candidate. This time around, however, we’re being offered something a bit different.
Five of the 12 council candidates have been campaigning as a team. Some might view this as a political party approach. Others might just accept this at face-value – a group of enthusiastic individuals with a shared vision for the future of the community, and some like-minded ideas on how to get there.
District council will be required to work as a team to some extent. For example, when a majority of council votes in favour of something, it is important the mayor and all of the councillors stand behind that decision, despite anydifference of opinion. That doesn’t mean those opposing views aren’t still valid, let alone important.
As much as it can prolong political process and potentially cripple projects, opposing views based on subjective critical thought and analysis are vital to the operation of an open and accountable local government. A culmination of subjective viewpoints provides a wider pool from which to draw ideas and address issues. It also offers a greater opportunity for the provision of different ideas that may give cause to pause for some sober second thought.
We’re all well-aware of the inherent problems at higher levels of government when the party in power holds a majority.
This is not to presume anything about the individuals campaigning as a team for Sicamous council (nor any of the other candidates for that matter). Municipal politics is a different world, where those elected truly are your neighbours and can be held accountable just as easily (if not more so) in casual conversation at a grocery store, as in council chambers. But it’s still something to think about.