Much ado has been made recently about the level of political discourse in this city, and there is some justification for this. In our wired world where everyone has a platform and the opportunity to speak at will and anonymously, we shouldn’t be surprised that public discourse is often banal, sometimes just plain stupid and occasionally malicious. Talk of adopting a Code of Conduct for citizen members of advisory boards, agencies and commissions to limit freedom of expression is a self-serving diversion, unlikely to have any real impact, and bad policy in any event.
For my part, I would like to speak frankly and clear the air on the great yawning chasm that is assumed to exist between Clr. Orser and myself. It’s a fiction, and I’m not even sure who I can blame for it. Characterizations in the local paper that we are “political rivals”, for example, don’t help. We haven’t been political rivals since election day, and that was a long time ago. The good people of Ward 4 made their choice on October 25, Clr. Orser won the contest quite handily. It was over in the early hours of October 26th. It’s time for everyone to move on.
The plain truth of the matter is that we need him in our corner as we work to improve our neighbourhood. We need to open the lines of communication. While he and I are not ever likely to be friends, I would suggest it might be useful if we were able to talk to one another. I’m more than willing.
Now the naysayers will no doubt point to some blog postings of mine where I took the good councillor to task for the single appointment he received to agencies, boards, and commissions. To those folks I would say that it’s a factual observation that was made on the basis of his commitment to represent the people of Ward 4 “full time”. It’s not malice or slander, people! In the same way, I think he ought to have applied to sit on the board of the local B.I.A., that he ought to be much more supportive of their work, and that he ought to attend neighbourhood meetings as our elected representative. You may disagree with me on any of this, but let’s not try to create trouble where none need exist. Let’s at least try to separate the fact from the fury!