Something seems to have finally happened with the Saanich Civic League, they have a redone website. The website includes more information about the group.
Since the big meeting in mid June, there has been almost silence from the Saanich Civic League. I am not sure what they have been doing, but communicating with the public has not been part of it.
With the new website there are some nice additions, there is a list of who is on the steering committee. There is also a list of community partners and others. It is that list that clearly shows that the people behind the Saanich Civic League are not interested in approaching local politics differently and getting more people interested in voting.
On this one page you can see that the League is supported by the Labour Council, CUPE 374 and Tactical Outcomes (a strongly left wing political consulting company). The League should never have taken support from the Labour Council if it could not also get support from the Chamber of Commerce - most people do not trust public sector unions, something the labour sector needed to deal with 20 years ago and has still not done so. The involvement of the left wing establishment in the league is going to turn a lot of people off. Certainly the Saanich Civic League is not trying to be non-partisan. Their claim to be non-partisan on the website is stunning when there is nothing to balance a hard core left wing bias.
If I did not know Wendy Bergerud, I would assume that the Saanich Civic League was a cynical attempt to build a civic NDP. Instead I think it has been honestly created by people on the left that assume their minority opinions are right and should be the majority - they honestly do not seem to know what non-partisan means. I know Wendy is involved with the League because of the civic engagement aspect of the process and she is trying to get the league to see beyond the narrow view that they have.
The Guelph Civic League came into being because there was a need for a voice of the community in local governance. It was not a left wing group. The GCL was around for some time before it started endorsing anyone for council, the SCL is jumping straight to that part. The GCL developed their values based on talking to the people first and developed a set that was politically neutral, the SCL has already developed their values before speaking to the public.
The Saanich Civic League needs to either open the doors for business, drop all labour support or find a right wing person to be chair. Short of these steps, the Saanich Civic League will not be relevant to the 2008 election.