Comment 106169

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted November 12, 2014 at 18:38:52

A few pushbacks:

  1. I don't like the idea that we want politicians with 'fresh ideas'. Our politicians should be up to date with current trends and best practices in city building, so that they can make informed contributions to council proceedings. That doesn't mean they need to come up with the original concepts, and in fact I think that can be more harmful than good --- city councillors don't necessarily have the expertise to be formulating the big-picture plans on many municipal issues, and expecting them to come to the table with 'fresh ideas' could easily lead to bad planning for the sake of originality. Just look at the Toronto election, where John Tory achieved traction on his "SmartTrack" plan, which is not a well-thought out plan. It might sound like good branding, but when you dig into it a lot of the ideas are not that great, and the ones that are good are copied from GO Transit's long-term strategy --- in other words it would be really stupid for the city to spend money implementing them. The best think that Tory could do is to admit that its not his job to come up with a fresh take, but instead to seek out the right advice and then implement it.

  2. I take issue with the suggestion that social media is "engagement-lite". Governments need to be on-board with web culture, because that's where many citizens are, and it is an extremely powerful tool for engagement. Of course social media engagement is not enough, but if you think its not an integral and necessary part of engaging citizens, you need to get a reality check. Multi-national corporations have taken to announcing their products on Twitter. If you want citizens to know about and care about a committee meeting, you have to tell them about it and social media is a key element of doing that.

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