Thursday, October 27, 2005

Civic Disengagement

Last night, on the other side of Boundary Road, Vancouver held more all-candidates' debates than Burnaby has scheduled for the entire municipal campaign. Three debates to elect 16 out of a group of nearly 40 is insufficient.

Burnaby community groups, including but not limited to Lions, Elks, and Rotary clubs, the Board of Trade, the Ratepayers' Associations, need to step up and show that they are the community leaders in the city. The District Parents' Advisory Council should be commended for being first out of the gates with their debate for School Trustees (even though their debate had to be postponned due to events beyond their control - it has been rescheduled for November 7 at Schou). The Heights Neighbourhood Association and the Burnaby Inter-Agency Council also deserve credit for organizing events in a city where little gets done on this front.

In the provincial election, this past May, only Burquitlam saw a decent number of all-candidates' debates and the vast majority of those took place in Coquitlam. In the federal election last year, Burnaby had few debates and all debates in Burnaby-New Westminster took place in the Royal City. Things were not better in previous municipal, provincial, or federal elections.

The civic organizations of Burnaby must do more to encourage civic engagement at all levels of government and now, even though it may be too late for November 19's vote, is the perfect time to commit to organizing a debate, a public forum, or a town hall meeting. Burnaby must not only demand great things from its political candidates but also from the community as a whole.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh...maybe as manager of TEAM, Harry Bloy will show up to more debates than he did as an MLA candidate.

10/28/2005 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demand great things from Burnaby candidates? With the mostly junk candidates wanting people to actually vote for them? This has to be joke right?

10/28/2005 10:09 PM  

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