Editorial – Election season has begun

Newton’s laws of motion state the relationship between the forces acting on an object and its motion in relationship to those forces. In short: An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest.

These laws are certainly true with respect to Morinville Town Council. Those members of Council who took their mandate seriously will stay in motion as they have for the past 26 months. Those who have sat idle, popping in for the bi-weekly Council meeting, there to look at their agenda packages perhaps for the first time, will continue to be at rest, vanishing completely from public view between meetings.

But even objects at rest can get set in motion if met with a strong enough force, namely the prospect of getting re-elected. Morinville residents will hit the polls Oct. 21, 2013, electing a new mayor and slate of Councillors to represent the community for the next four years.

We are 278 days from that happening. Add another 28 days to that number for the actual campaign that precedes the election. But make no mistake about it – Campaign 2013 has already begun.

Savvy Councillors began their campaign the day after they were elected back in 2010. It was a subtle and crafty ruse, one in which the elected official read their agenda package, sought feedback from residents, and then debated the issues in Council Chambers on the basis of that input. Using political cunning they have immersed themselves deep within the community by shopping locally, being involved in local groups, and supporting community events, all in the hopes of showing us they were doing what we elected them to do. But objects in motion stay in motion. Newton told us so.

Others – and we need not mention any names just yet – are more noticeable in their early campaigning, wiping the sleet from the corners of their eyes, turning a few pages in their agenda package as if actually interested, grumbling their discontent with how poorly things are being run, and ringing up local community groups under the facade of community concern.

As residents we need to be mindful of these Newtonian laws of physics and politics. Election 2013, though 10 months away, will be an interesting one. If word on the street is accurate, there will be no less than five running for mayor this go round, and we have no idea how many will run for a council seat.

Those new hats thrown into the ring will have to be weighed on their personal track records and the amount of sincerity they can convey. Those seeking another swing at bat must be weighed on their record over the past three years and not any sudden home stretch movements to fool us into thinking they are or have been objects in motion. Even a rotten apple that falls from a tree will sometimes roll a short distance.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Editor,

    You raise an interesting and timely point with this editorial letter. Our councillors have 278 days to impress us with reasons to re-elect them, should they choose to run again. Having a name that is well-known because it was plastered all over town, nor distant past accomplishments should not be sufficient on its own to get elected or re-elected. A town election is serious business, not a popularity contest.

    There are some councillors who have stood up during tough issues when required. Some have been serious and educated themselves about government, while others have been “absentee landlords” who complain, yet fail to offer any realistic solutions to problems. I want to elect someone who will act responsibly for the whole town, not just for their pet project or cause.

    I look forward to the upcoming election campaign to hear what the candidates will do for the town. Who will Champion and other businesses get behind this year? Maybe “Who is funding your campaign?” should be a standard question during the various town debates and discussions during election time.

    Let’s make Morinville’s election a “No Whining” and “No BS” event this year. I don’t want to hear about how our town will die without a pool, I want to hear about and see the town’s short (1-5 years), medium (5-15 years) and long term (15-25 years) year vision – realistic ones that can be sustained.

    Let’s see who is crazy enough to get into (or stay in) this rat race and has the resilience, strength and personal fortitude to win. Or who can do the best job of advertising, has the most friends, sponsorship money, etc.

    Where do I sign up?

    (Any attempt at campaigning in this letter was purely a coincidence and not intentional).

    Voter or Future Campaigner, the jury is still out…

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