Comment 50551

By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:11:57

"No, I like having councillors that see council as their top priority, not their hobby. Cut-rate councillors means politics are a sport for the rich or the easily-bought."

Unfortunately, Hamilton's experience has been Councillors who see being re-elected to the best-paying job they've ever had or will have as their "top priority".

If "cut-rate councillors means politics are a sport for the rich" then how come we didn't see many "poor" people mounting any decent campaigns for Hamilton's "non-cut-rate" positions? I see only one in fifteen wards.

The reality of fulltime municipal positions in Hamilton is that they are almost exclusively filled by those who a) can't get a better job elsewhere - Collins, Merulla, Whitehead, Jackson, Pasuta, Mitchell, Clark, or b)have non-political name-recognition - Bratina, Farr or c) are retired or have jobs/personal situations that allow them the time to be on Council - Ferguson, Morelli, Pearson, Powers, McHattie and Partridge.

The true measure of real representative democracy is the absence of structural impediments to "regular people" running for office. The fact that fulltime municipal positions effectively require people to fund expensive campaigns and then give up their jobs or businesses has relegated Hamilton's Council, with a few exceptions, to the rich, the retired or the unemployed.

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