Re: Tom Fletcher’s Concerns about CUPE running city halls after the next civic elections (Is CUPE running your city hall?, Comox Valley Record, Sept. 30)
Tom Fletcher warns us about CUPE members organizing ‘full slates’ with ‘cuddly’ names to appeal to ‘low-information voters’. Personally, I’d be more concerned about slates calling themselves ‘Common Sense’, the label used by a local slate that ran in our last civic election.
The name was used in 1995 by Mike Harris, former premier of Ontario, when he dubbed his approach ‘The Common Sense Revolution’. Tim Hudak, the last premier of Ontario, used three of the advisers who worked with Mike Harris, and his own wife who was a policy adviser with Harris.
Last year in Calgary a group called ‘Common Sense Calgary’ (.com) tried to unseat the popular Mayor Nenshi. But, like Tim Hudak they lost.
The politics of Mike Harris, Tim Hudak and the folks in the Common Sense revolution, can only be described as mean-spirited – the bottom line was the only ‘god’ that governed their policies. Maybe we are now seeing this locally. Since our last election, the challenge of ‘housing for the homeless’ was not only not solved, it has become a problem that the voters have to settle in our next election. We’ll be asked to vote on a very divisive question – ‘will we be willing to add $5, $10 or nothing’ to our tax bill’. Our local referendum question has been discussed on radio shows in both Victoria and Vancouver and we find this heartbreakingly embarrassing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t having a roof over your head, enough food to eat, and clean water a ‘basic human right’? If so, why are we voting on it? These rights are a ‘given’; and they should have been settled in a positive way by the mayor and council.
Editor’s note: Comox Valley Common Sense endorsed seven candidates in the 2011 Courtenay election. Five of the seven, including Mayor Larry Jangula, were elected.)