..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bad, very bad advice can do a lot of harm

absurd: (adj); (of an idea or suggestion) wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.

That's the word I would use, for now, to describe what's happening in the discussion centred on the use of Cobourg's harbour. In one of our local newspapers, an individual who we probably can assume to be an otherwise reasonable person, has made the statement "A new plan is being prepared. It is not often that electors can influence the outcome of a new plan by how they vote. In this case they can by checking the position of candidates on ....". For this election, clearly he is advocating to vote for candidates that are against marina expansion, but more seriously, to NOT vote for those that support or appear to support it. That is really,Really, REALLY bad advice.

This is a current issue becoming highly charged with emotions, that for now, has only two options, namely adding slips in a larger part of the basin or leave the basin as is. It is about as far removed from policy decisions as it can be, and we should be electing candidates that demonstrate their aptitude in setting policy because it's their decisions that will guide the future of Cobourg as a healthy community in its entirety. To avoid voting for someone who has not rushed to a definitive decision on the "harbour issue" while they may very well be exactly what the town needs for the future, is complete ignorance, utter foolishness and just plain idiotic.

Earlier I said the harbour issue has, for now, only two options. A good council will explore the issue beyond the two options and if we elect candidates with their minds made up and positions set, it's highly unlikely that any kind of discussion to find a completely inclusive solution can take place. That would be a very bad situation to end up in for such problems that will naturally arise at different times in the next term. Personally, I am far less likely to vote for candidates that already have their mind made up on this type of issue, than the ones advocating for alternative solutions based on a large body of evidence.

This opinion piece is not about which option should prevail; it is about electing people that are able to pursue inclusive solutions to problems that they will, as a council, face more than once or twice during their term. We must not succumb to emotional urges or tirades when we make our choices at the ballot box this time, or any other time for that matter. An informed voter will see that on their own but the advice being offered by one passionate person should not be the determinant in any event. Hopefully sanity and reason will prevail.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Decisions. decisions, why do we avoid them?

The tendency to boil down an election to one over-arching issue, or maybe two the odd time, is so counter-productive to electing a well-qualified council. The media calls it the 'defining issue in this election' and so voters focus on that, too easily and too lazily. Having been detached from events and goings-on throughout the past term, voters have little to go on when choosing candidates to support. Typically they take a personal position on "the defining issue' and go about trying to figure out which candidates are on the same page as they are. Presto! I know who I'm voting for.

Of course, that is pure nonsense. Smart politicians know how to appear to support every side of an issue in one way or another, nevermind what they really think and which options they will support when the chips are finally down. So much for transparency here. Then, what about all the other 'issues' that come before council in the four years they wield power? Having voted for candidates based on only one issue, those voters have no idea what their chosen councillors thinks about other issues. That's when the gripeing starts. as the term progresses, more disappointments emerge and at some point the call for "change" rings out, in response to the failings of councillors to support the positions of the ones who elected them.

Well what can we expect, really? As voters we made our choice based on their responses to "the defining issue(s)" of their election and never ever really got to understand their core beliefs and outlook. Way too much effort. We were too focused on the single defining issue to see beyond it into the next four years. The really frustrating part is that even then, when this all happens, as predictable as day following night, we still don't pay enough attention to stop repeating the same scenario for the next, and next, and too many future elections. The natural outfall is that the savvy politicians know this and play to the net every time, preparing for the next election rather than bringing about the changes they appear to promise during the campaign. They can do that because we're still not paying attention. Ultimately and sadly it ends up being about getting re-elected rather than fixing problems and making things better in some way for as many as possible, something that only seems to happen seriously when the crowd gets a bit unruly from time to time. Of course the public's attention span is miniscule and things get back to 'normal' in short order. If it weren't so downright stupid, it would be really funny, and great material for a sit-com. Fits right into the reality TV madness.