Comment 104082

By MichaelHHowes (registered) - website | Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:25:02

The issue of term limits is about what tool to use, to ensure proactive, effective representation by elected officials. Given the overwhelming power that incumbents have in municipal elections with anemic voter turnout, term limits get proposed.

As noted by a number of people, the better solution is to vote poor performers out and promising performers in as required.

But how do we break the current cycle? By increasing voter turnout. How do we do that? By providing leadership, not by pandering to the electorate. The current state of Hamilton politics has been described as 'pothole politics' and the Area Rating funds fuel that rather myopic approach.

In a society that is increasingly isolationist, people feel less inclined to vote because they don't recognize their voice in the candidates, don't believe that they can make a difference with their vote and - for young people - the values of politics as currently played, doesn't resonate.

What to do? Talk less about safe streets and better sidewalks and the like. Those are table stakes and if that is all you propose as a candidate, you have little vision in a city that needs a lot of it. Rather, take a bold position on what Hamilton needs. Jobs, new businesses, less of a ward focus / more of a city focus ... pick your need, but lead with a compelling vision, rather than mining what others have said. I think people are looking for leaders like this.

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