Mind-blowing point number one: Two politicians who probably couldn't agree on the colour of the sky, are agreeing about the most fundamentally important value in our democratic system: That the PEOPLE are in charge, as opposed to the elected few.
Mind-blowing point number two: One of them is Brian Pincott, who I wrote about just 3 days ago in relation to his "dog park user fee" brainwave.
I'll have a lot (a LOT) more to say about the notion of private, PC-only cabinet advisory committees with no published minutes being paid taxpayer money at a later time. But for now, the "take of the day" on the issue goes to Doug Griffiths, MLA for Battle River-Wainwright, member of the "Enlightened Eight", snappy dresser and all-around good guy:
"I completely understand why people are concerned... if that role is an internal PC caucus function, why should we be paid?"
To whit: If it's not a public function, but a private one, then why should public (aka "MY") dollars be paid to the participants?
Doug gets it - which is hardly surprising.
What I found a little more surprising - but very pleasantly so - was the about-face by Alderman Brian Pincott on the dog park issue. Brian initially floated the idea of a user fee for dog parks, and then - in what could only be an attempt to discredit the last few paragraphs on this past Wednesday's post on The Enlightened Savage - he came out yesterday and said:
"... I have heard from many people who, like you, have asked that I vote against a user fee, even if council is told that it would be possible to administer one... I will do this. Should council be told that we could levy a maintenance fee to off-leash users (and I must stress that we have not been told that we could) I will not support such a fee."
This shouldn't be newsworthy, but it is - which speaks, I think, to the low expectation that we have of our elected officials - a low expectation that, sadly, is usually well-earned. In this case, though, Pincott is showing that he understands that the people calling his office are actually the decision-makers, rather than the ones who sit in the funny-looking council chamber.
YES, Nation, I also couldn't help but notice that the next municipal election is less than a year away. Why so jaded? ;)
The bottom line is, whether a politician is a Progressive Conservative or a raging lefty, when the time comes to cast a vote, a politician who understands that their own, private opinions matter not a whit in the context of this job they're elected to do is okay by me. I can be ably represented by a person who shares NONE of my views, so long as that person realizes what Griffiths and Pincott understand: The opinion of the voters is what counts.
Power to the People.