Comment 70567

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2011 at 12:31:15

Tracking and charting the voting records of elected officials was a pretty basic thing that Guelph Civic League did that proved to be a useful decision-making tool. Considering how long most of council have been at it (the current crew have an average of 10 years' experience as civic leaders, not that you'd know it), that's data that would be extremely useful.

It seems to me that the date would only be 'extremely useful' if the people using it had a facility to grasp and understand what the voting records meant. (Assuming we're not talking about absenteeism.)

It seems to me that those people who would have the scope to discern what a Councillor's voting record meant...by way of having developed informed, qualified opinions about issues...aren't the ones you really need getting up to speed on local governance. In fact, it just seems to be equipping the already-engaged with more 'tools', which isn't a bad thing, but I guess you have to decide what your goal is: making the 40% of municipal voters who currently vote more incisive in their selections, getting the 60% who aren't voting more inclined to cast a ballot, period...both...?

As for the number of years served, as I'm assuming you've listed them as a kind of 'strike' against them ("the current crew have an average of 10 years' experience as civic leaders, not that you'd know it"), but really, it comes down to voters having the ability to discern between a good performance and a bad, and while voting records are indeed 'useful', what matters more is genuine engagement. (Yes, I'm against term-limits.)

The difference between small talk about a subject and an in-depth discourse can be tremendous. So too can the effects of a discourse that's grounded in awareness and understanding; I'm always held in thrall by someone who really, truly knows of which they speak.

I think that's a good standard to shoot for, don't you?

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