Monday, November 10, 2008

North Saanich All Candidates Meeting Report

This report on the big all candidates meeting in North Saanich comes from one of the candidates. Cairine Green does a job on her campaign website/blog of giving a good insight into the issues and concerns in North Saanich.

North Saanich has many things pulling it around in many ways. They are home to some of Greater Victoria's most rural areas with real functioning farms, and one farmer Ruby Commandeur running for council. Farming in this region is difficult for many reasons, one of the biggest is housing built close to working farms.

It is also the home to the region's most expensive houses and most NIMBY like people - the waterfront mansion owners in North Saanich make the Uplands look like they are in favour of mixed use diversity. The waterfront mansions in North Saanich are the most environmentally damaging housing in the region.

North Saanich also has some typical suburban neighbourhoods and of some important industrial/commercial areas for the whole region.

All of this leads to a serious debate about what the future of North Saanich should be. Clearly there are quite different views among the candidates in relation to the issues. The problem in local politics when there is such divergent ideas of where to go with things is that a simple majority of the council can radically alter the direction of the community. If the balance changes from election to election you will see a community in a long term 'civil war' and become very unstable.

Our current voting system of electing all the councilors at large on the same ballot with the pre-literate marking of the ballot with an X is a big problem because it means the community is often not really well reflected in the election results. Our local elections would function much better if were using STV.
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