At times democracy is hard to swallow

Sometimes we’re pleased with the results and sometimes, not so much.

Sure, we elect our mayor and council to make decisions on our behalf.

We vote for the person we think will make the decision we would make if we were sitting at the council table and let them duke it out week after week.

Sometimes we’re pleased with the results and sometimes, not so much.

But there are times when the electorate must be asked its opinion on a matter of governance.

It’s written into the local government act that if a municipality wants to borrow over a certain amount, it has to hold a referendum asking taxpayers to approve. Usually this is done to replace or create large infrastructure such as a hockey arena or fire hall. Sometimes the public agrees and sometimes it says no.

Most referendums are non-binding, this means that no matter the result, council can still make a decision contrary to the voters’ wishes, although flying in the face of public opinion is rarely the popular option.

The question of amalgamation is one that rears its head, oh let’s say every three years or so. This year, the subject has been pushed forward into the public realm like nothing we’ve seen before. Thus, councils around the region are debating the merits of asking their residents if they are interested in combining municipalities.

Anecdotally, we hear Oak Bay residents say ‘no thanks’ to amalgamation.

It’s the likelihood that amalgamation will not be of interest to Oak Bay voters that had council members hemming and hawing their way through a discussion this week that clearly they didn’t want to have.

Some of them actually made faces as they voted on the motion, like petulant children being pulled kicking and screaming from the candy store. There were no guns present, let alone any being held to anyone’s head. We’ve never heard so much negative commentary on a motion, then seen all of council vote for it.

This is democracy in action, even if you have to hold your nose and vote.

 

Just Posted

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read