Voters will get their chance to really change things

Dear editor,
Now that summer is gone (was it ever really here?) and the silly season is over, maybe it's time to think about something serious. Such as the upcoming municipal elections.

Dear editor,Now that summer is gone (was it ever really here?) and the silly season is over, maybe it’s time to think about something serious. Such as the upcoming municipal elections.Wherever I go and whomever I talk to recently, there seems a sense of disenfranchisement from voters. Politicians wring their hands wearing a winsome smile while plaintively asking for public input, and then promptly ignore it. Then there are those old fossils that believe that once elected, theirs becomes the Divine Right of Kings, blatantly trampling process and people.Usually that’s the little people like you and me. If you have enough money, like say a Trilogy or Crown Isle, then these same politicians will bend over backwards to accommodate their needs.You and I make some small deviation from the draconian rule of, for example, a building inspector, and we feel the full force of government regulation, without exception. It’s no surprise that groups like the Direct Action Coalition, Union Bay TAG, Cumberland Matters, or Citizens’ Voice, have evolved. I believe that they represent a large body of discontent with the status quo of government and governance.The rout that occurred in Union Bay over the improvement district board should serve as a warning to those politicians who believe they can blithely ignore the will of the people. I was at the first meeting of the TAG group (Taxpayers for Accountable Government), and it was heartening to see grassroots democracy in action.Maybe the largest sector of those unrepresented in local government is young people: our future.I live in Cumberland, and it’s full of young families. A great event that brings together 20somethings to peacefully celebrate music and community is The Big Time Out.This year it was forced out of Cumberland and marginalized. Essentially only one councillor stood up for this event and the participants: Kate Greening.The organizers are creative and committed individuals who bring large amounts of money into the Village. I volunteer at the event, and it is one of the most positive experiences I have, offering an alternative vision for a better world.If you are as frustrated as I am with these same old tired politicians, and the sterile future they represent, then November is your chance to make a change — one that reflects a greater diversity than business as usual. In fact I would go further: Let’s start a taxpayers’ revolt. I am fed up with seeing my hard-earned dollars being frittered away in bloated administrators’ salaries, or endless projects that we either don’t need, or shouldn’t be paying for.Let’s just say no. Perhaps we should follow the example from the Borough of North Finchley in the U.K.They eliminated all non-essential government services, saved themselves, and thus taxpayers, a small fortune, and simultaneously staved off impending bankruptcy. Ask potential candidates this November if they have any practical plans to reduce government expenditures, rather than expand them.So get political. Get involved. Be heard. Toss out the old, and bring in the new. This has been a message from the People’s Party, whose membership consists of one. That’s me — or you.Richard Drake,Cumberland

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