Ottawa Municipal Election: United Community Vote Made The Difference in Kitchissippi

Ottawa Municipal Election: United Community Vote Made The Difference in Kitchissippi
Posted on December 3, 2014 | Joe Foster | Written on December 3, 2014
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As we know, most people are indifferent to elections, and surprisingly for municipal ones (which directly affect us the most), even more so.

However, in Ottawa, Ward 15 (Kitchissippi) dramatically proved that an unpopular Councillor, even with strong ties, can be voted out of Office if the community really makes the effort.

With a great deal of team work and door to door campaigning, Jeff Leiper not only easily won the election but made Ward 15 one of the highest voter turnouts in the city.

What is important here is that apathy usually produces the result we least want! The last two federal elections are a clear indication that if voter turnout is marginal, there is no real way of knowing for sure what citizens really prefer. One of the latest examples is the by-election in Edmonton. With only a 15% turnout, any of the opposing Parties could most likely have won if they did the "Kitchissippi thing".

While those who seriously think about politics realize that the First Past the Post system is not only archaic but undemocratic, a higher voter turnout would at least give a better indication of citizen preference.

So, as we move into the 2015 General Election, we all need to remember that democracy is a very fragile institution and requires that each of us remembers not only our privileged rights in Canada, but also our responsibilities. We need to assess how each of our MPs has served their constituency - and not the Party brass. Has the Party itself espoused the highest ideals of Canadian traditions, i.e. openness, transparency and the respect for each other and our democratic process? Unless this is clearly evident, government soon loses touch with its citizens and pushes
its own ideology.

Citizen action can make a real difference at the federal level as well. Kitchissippi has set the example.

Joe Foster  

 

About The Author

Joe Foster holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in International Business. He has volunteered with CUSO in Zambia, Worked for the UNDP in Malaysia and spent most of his career with CIDA, including... More

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