To the editor:
So, just as the candidate roster for upcoming civic election heats up, so too has the political infighting.
The recent emergence of the FourChange.org lobbying group has injected a partisan tone into our civic politics not seen in Kelowna in previous campaigns. In the most recent civic election, some local residents’ organizations took the liberty of endorsing particular candidates they felt would best serve their communities interests which unfortunately opened the door for this type of politics; pitting community against community, and business against residential etc.
Unfortunately, this FourChange initiative has not only publicly endorsed four members of our current city council, they have done so by also publicly discounting four others and encouraging voters to remove them from office.
This is not only distasteful, it is cowardly. In a community where only 20 per cent of eligible voters actually cast a ballot in civic elections, it is likely that those few do so because they actually have some idea of what is going on at city hall.
As for the 80 per cent that have no interest in civic matters, they are not casting a ballot anyway.
Those of us who chose to vote, do so, and have done so throughout the history of Kelowna, in an independent fashion; casting our support behind those individuals we feel will best serve our city. Assuming that we, the average voters, need someone else to compile a list of who we should or should not vote for, is just plain degrading.
If we intend to go down this road of petty politics, maybe it is time Kelowna considered a ward system and moved towards a climate of full-on partisan politics.
Do we in this city want to go down the road of other Canadian cities (ie: Toronto and Vancouver) and unleash a system that thrives on vicious turf wars between various factions within the community? This is a direction that Kelowna is coming dangerously close to taking and ultimately it is up to us voters to decide what kind of city we want in the future.
So, on Nov. 19 I intend to exercise my right to vote entirely independent of any lobby group, and I would encourage my fellow citizens of this fine city to do the same.