Democratic dictatorship

Dear Editor:

Once again, the Peter Principle shines through Penticton City Council.

True, the Dec. 1 meeting was announced in November. It was not a surprise. What was a surprise is the fact that the “complete agenda” was not made public (on the city website) until a few hours before the actual meeting.

Once again, the corporate office seems to emphasize the Peter Principle. Convenient, or what?

Up to now, (I don’t see it changing anytime soon), this council has adopted an attitude of democratic dictatorship. To better understand this, democratic dictatorship is described as:

“A form of government where the candidate is elected by popular vote but rarely or never actually enacts any policies that reflect the actual wishes of the constituency. The elected representative can either use subtle diplomacy to deflect criticism, arrange for various forms of distraction to divert public attention, or be brazen in publicly declaring that policy will be different from popular opinion.”

Does this describe the current council and its actions? You be the judge!

Look back at the election. How many polling stations were there? We all know the answer to that… one. How many of the pre-election promises of transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility have been kept? Almost none! The infrastructure funding status continues to be a problem yet upper echelon staff has been increased by at least three new hires (possible total expenditure $200,000, plus or minus).

This is probably an amount that might make Trio go away. In many taxpayers’ minds, it would be money better spent!

In the latest agreement proposal ( Dec.1, 2016), there seems to be the words “public consultation” that appear throughout the agreement. Sounds good doesn’t it? Wow, taxpayers will have input, can you imagine that? But wait! To better understand this, we need to first understand what public consultation is.

“Public consultation, or simply consultation, is a regulatory process by which the public’s input on matters affecting them is sought. Its main goals are in improving the efficiency, transparency and public involvement in large-scale projects or laws and policies.”

Having made this statement, I would offer the following (in terms of COP performance): “Ineffective consultations are considered to be cosmetic consultations that were done due to obligation or show and not true participatory decision making.”

For the balance of council’s mandate how many more times are we likely to be “thrown under the bus by council?” Silly me for thinking this way! After all this is a democratic dictatorship isn’t it!

Ron Barillaro

Penticton