Time for good ideas, not absurd promises


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Prior to the 2003 municipal vote, this corner checked in with the author of a citizen’s guide to electing better public officials who encouraged voters to maximize the impact of their decision when they cast ballots.
Charles Bens has consulted more than 200 public sector organizations in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Latin America, and he advocates a process he calls “quality voting.”
In the aldermanic race, voters can cast up to a maximum of seven votes, but Bens stresses there is no requirement to endorse that number of candidates.
The goal, argues Bens, is to only support those candidates “who will make good decisions on behalf of the community.”
If a voter feels they have accomplished that by supporting less than the maximum allowed seven candidates, then they should not feel obligated to cast the remainder of their votes.
He pointed out just filling up the ballot “can sometimes send irresponsible and unethical people to public office.”
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Poverty is more than a ‘whole bunch of little problems’


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Close to 50 individuals gathered Thursday in the YWCA gym for a municipal all-candidates meeting hosted by the Bridges out of Poverty program.
In a campaign dominated by seemingly endless debate over a home for the police service, those enjoying a simple lunch at the Y were seeking any sign of hope from candidates on grass-roots issues like poverty, homelessness and low-paying jobs.
For the most part, they had to chew on simplistic campaign fodder.
In fact, a couple of the candidates put forth an embarrassingly feeble effort as they attempted to answer the question, “How do you address poverty in St. Thomas?”
One individual spent most of his allotted time pushing his over-inflated bio on those in attendance and then dropped this clinker, “poverty is a whole bunch of little problems.”
Nice to know whether you can afford to pay the rent or buy food when there is too much month at the end of the money is one of those “little problems.”
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Time for good ideas, not absurd promises


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Prior to the 2003 municipal vote, this corner consulted the author of a citizen’s guide to electing better public officials who encourages voters to maximize the impact of their decision when they cast ballots on Oct. 25.

Charles Bens has consulted more than 200 public sector organizations in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Latin America, and he advocates a process he calls “quality voting.”

In the aldermanic race, voters can cast up to a maximum of seven votes, but Bens stresses there is no requirement to endorse seven candidates.

The goal, argues Bens, is to only support those candidates “who will make good decisions on behalf of the community.” If a voter feels they have accomplished that by supporting less than the maximum allowed seven candidates, then they should not feel obligated to cast the remainder of their votes.
Continue reading