'Power Broker' Influence on Municipal Elections Is Too Great

'Power Broker' Influence on Municipal Elections Is Too Great
Posted on October 21, 2014 | James O'Grady | Written on October 21, 2014
Letter type:



Author's Note:

Author's Note:

This is an edited version of a comment I made today on Facebook regarding Alex Cullen's letter on UnpublishedOttawa.com about the influence of developer donations on the 2010 municipal election. An election I consider to have been tampered with by the 'power brokers' in Ottawa for the reasons Alex identifies and the undue influence media endorsements played in swaying the public's vote.

In fact, I created UnpublishedOttawa.com to help limit the influence of the 'power brokers' because I believe we (voters) are intelligent enough to make up our own minds as to who to vote for based on the information each candidate provides, their performance at debates and their answer to our questions.

Why should partisan business owners and journalists determine who is elected to City Council? I am especially disappointed with some of the local media. What gives journalists the right use their position, and the privilege granted to them in that position, to influence voters to vote for the candidates they support? Especially when most of those candidates are of one political persuasion? In 2010 it was as if the candidates' credentials, understanding of policy and electioneering played no role in determining who was 'endorsed'.

This doesn't make any sense to me in the 21st Century when just about everyone in Ottawa has a highschool education and many have either a College or University education.

No, he's not Tim. Alex Cullen is saying that businesses and members of a family owned business should not have undue influence over an election that is about people; i.e. voters. Businesses don't vote, so their owners should only be allowed to donate once.

I agree 100% with Alex as does the FCA (Federation of Citizens' Associations in Ottawa) and many other community groups in Ottawa because we know the developers have far too great an influence on who is elected, never mind who runs for office.

For instance, have you thought about why we don't have very many candidates running for Mayor this year? Since raising $500,000 is difficult (maximum allowed for Mayor candidates), you need the support of local business in order to raise enough money to run. In this town, there is only one industry that engages with City Hall on a regular basis... The Development Industry. i.e. The developers determine who runs for Mayor through their donations.

From the looks of it, the Developers are happy with Jim Watson. But, I know that many community activists like myself are not. His actions to kill all debate and concentrate power in his own office allowed almost all development proposals, no matter how high,  how big or how inappropriate, to be rubber stamped by his Stepford Council. This is not my idea of democracy in action, nor is it the best way to make decisions that reflect the needs of all stakeholders, not just the rich and influential ones.

Read my questions to Ottawa City Council candidates: What would you do to safeguard Ottawa City Hall from the corrupt influence of organized crime? >>

About The Author

James OGrady's picture

I am the founder of Unpublished Media--A social media entrepreneur, communications professional, part-time school teacher and community leader living in Nepean, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack... More