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August 24th, 2010:

Ottawa elections

As much as I love to rail on the Harperites and their version of a Comedy of Errors, I’m going to shift the focus of the political part of this blog (um, OK, so it really is 95% political… as much as I like to write the odd “daddy-blogger” entry here and there) to the Ontario municipal races – especially here in Bytown. I’ll likely keep with the practice of scribbling my Friday Miscellany notes and will vent my anti-DeceptiCon rants in that space.

Why refocus? Because I was/am a student of local government and despair that this level of government – the level that is closest to the people who vote for them – is largely ignored and widely misunderstood. Voter turnouts for municipal elections are in the 40-55% range and this pitiful level of civic engagement shows little sign of improving any time soon.

I think it important to encourage a focus on local issues because these are what touch us directly. Our emergency services, schools, road maintenance and snow clearing, libraries and waste management are all the responsibility of our Council and School Boards. Decisions are taken by our local Council and School Boards on how our communities are planned, the protection of our natural environment, and where and our children are educated. Local decisions made by local people like you and I.

Local government is vital. It is in our backyards. And it is largely ignored. That is unfortunate.

So – just for old times sake, here is a candid shot I took of John Baird during last spring’s session of Parliament. I think he is making a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a point of order..."