A bit delayed but as promised … On One Hand and On The Other
Before I begin the pointing and counter-pointing though, two over-arching beliefs of mine are behind all of this.
The first belief is best summed up by a quote from Goethe: “If you want a wise answer, ask a reasonable question“.
My second guideline wraps up this post.
On One Hand
On The Other
|Mayor Cooper certainly doesn’t have to engage with me or anyone else. It’s her choice.||Modern politicians are all about communicating in as many channels as possible. Apparently our mayor intends to be locked down in how she communicates. I hope if I asked her some of these pretty straight-forward and not vexatious questions when I see her on the street, she wouldn’t respond with “read the Observer” or “I’ll let you know in a few months” or just walk on by and ignore me. As noted in the previous posts, several of the councillors work hard to provide thoughtful responses for Aim High.|
|Mayor Cooper notes that I’m not a news professional like the Observer staff as one rationale for not engaging with Aim High …That the traditional media are a trusted source of information for the public.||Full agreement there! I’m neither a reporter nor an editor. I get a lot of information from our established city media. I do think though that Aim High plays a role as a blog in exploring ideas that the other media don’t cover in a similar fashion.|
|Mayor Cooper feels that because I don’t pay business taxes or am a downtown business, that she will mainly support them by working with or through them as they are an economic part of our community.||I support downtown and local businesses like many of you as well. I’m not too sure of how having ideas and questions should only count depending on where they are asked from. Also, I’m pretty sure that Aim High isn’t too high on the Observer’s economic competitor list. They have many more industry issues to consider than moi.|
|Mayor Cooper feels that because I don’t employ anyone, she will support the traditional media.||Got me there! I’m not too sure how her stance affects her relationship with Lorne’s Friday AM or the Voice of the Shuswap for example. I don’t think that they are really ‘employers’ either. Perhaps the mayor will be going dark with them as well .|
|Finally (at least for the moment), Mayor Cooper has noted that her own blog on the city website also serves as a communication channel.||It does in a press release sort of way and I do think that the mayor’s blog is a good idea. Here’s another idea Mayor Cooper. I don’t really care where reasonable questions are answered … just that they are responded to. How about posting responses to relevant and appropriate questions up on your blog ? That could work.|
Canadian politics are now grid-locked with strictly controlled messaging that does little to engage discussion let alone differing views. It’s no wonder that voters become disengaged with the spin, fluff and party line talking points.
Mayor Cooper is also attempting to control messaging – and poorly in my opinion. While I do have my theories why, her narrowed approach is contrary to my sense of how things can and should indeed work.
My second underlying belief: I think that local government is the perfect place where the politicos can take the lead in truly connecting with residents and being innovative in doing so. Again, a number of the city councillors are indeed trying to do this.
I’m more than wondering if Mayor Cooper’s little thing with me is indeed part of a bigger picture of her struggling in her communications style and her leadership role as mayor.
Something seems to be amiss and I’m hearing of other rumblings from around.
More to come on this shortly. Please leave your own wise and reasonable points and counters in the Comments section. All comments are moderated.
* For other posts in this series, click on the Council category in the Browse Categories right side column