Today, I’m launching the ‘local’ corner of my blog, where I will be speaking on everything from local events, politics (within the range that I can), restaurant reviews, features on local people and more. With all the hot talks surrounding Orangeville Council and local politics, I thought it would be appropriate to address an issue that seems to be flying across the interwebz at high volumes.
That issue, is that the elections are over, but many people seem to think that they’re not, or that whoever voted for who have some semblance of control over the current situation. I originally posted this as a rant on Facebook, but am sharing it here because my friends only have access to my Facebook, whereas anyone can view this.
Having held the position of a full-time reporter for a little over a year now, and having had the ‘pleasure’ of covering a multitude of council meetings, there has been a lot of observation going on from my end. Observations that have spanned onto social media, watching and taking it in.
If there’s one thing that can be said about our 2014 Municipal Election, it’s that it was messy. Mud-slinging like one would typically expect in a city like Toronto, but not here. People turning on people. People treating members of our community horribly because of who they voted for, and so on and so forth.
Despite the elections being over, the mud-slinging is still occurring, and as Council has failed to take hold of their duties and move forward, that slinging seems to be coming back around in full-force. I’ve been quite disturbed about many of the comments I’ve been seeing online regarding the state that our current council is in<
As our new Mayor has taken his seat, and this term has attempted (somewhat) to move forward, it seems that when things are being held back, the slinging about the so-called ‘Rob Supporters’ begins to fly, as if people who voted for Rob Adams somehow have control over the current people sitting in our local council chambers.
While it’s certainly coming from a select group of people, the fact that those who were so anti-Rob in the election feel the need to continuously blame the conditions of council on ‘Rob supporters’ is worrying. Even moreso, that they comment on how those who supported Rob must be happy at the results of the new term thus far, as though these voters care less about our town than they do about who they voted for.
This kind of mentality that I seem to see popping up more and more across Orangeville forums is divisive as best. It is perpetuating this idea of ‘us against them’ that simply is not true. As the majority of people who voted for Rob know, the Town chose. We made our bed, and we have to lie in it, regardless of whether that bed ends up being good or bad.
It creates the idea that we must be divided as a town, and creates this notion that half the town must be sore losers, plotting the demise of our new council. It also feeds into this estranged idea of the ‘alliances’ on council, which as anyone who has attended council meetings can tell you, is simply not true.
The election is over. For better or for worse, voters have decided. It no longer matters whether we voted for Jeremy, or for Rob, as the vote declared who would be our leader for the next four years. There is no Rob army marching around attempting to destroy the reputation of our new mayor or derail our new council. Our new council (save for the few actually concerned with moving forward) are doing a good enough job of digging this into the ground.
This divisive attitude needs to stop. This isn’t a war. This isn’t Game of Thrones, where one must declare undying loyalty to House Adams or House Williams. This is not an ‘us vs them’ of a matter of sides. The election is over, and it’s time to start turning criticism and cries for higher expectations towards the root of the problem, not towards some mysterious force of people who, if they existed, still would not have any power.
As a community, we need to come together and continue letting our council know we expect better. We expect them to serve us to the best of their abilities, putting their own desires and personal issues aside to achieve what is best for the community. People need to stop placing the blame on who voted for who, and come together under who is our leader now to pursue better change.
Politics are a messy business. They always have been, and always will be. But once an election is over, it’s time to move on. Fight for change in what is going on now, not in what happened four months ago.