I’ve had a number of conversations with people, in the know, since the election, regarding what the future holds politically for Collingwood. I was quite surprised at the general sense of optimism in this regard. My view is that the electorate in Collingwood are not particularly engaged (or care) about the happenings at town council. Because if they were, the following would never have happened:
1. Sandra Cooper got a healthy majority. Over 51% of those who voted put their trust in her for another 4 years. OK I get it that you didn’t like your other choices. You all know who I voted for. That wasn’t based on flipping a coin in the air, it was based on having some fairly long in depth conversations with Chris about his vision for the future of this town. Even now after being soundly defeated in the municipal election, he is working behind the scenes on a project that will fundamentally change this town for the better for many years in the future. With Sandra there is no vision, no big picture. Did everyone who voted for her get collective amnesia about the OPP investigation, the conflict of interest, the voting bloc that she enabled, the lack of leadership and the enabling of Rick Lloyd? I do not go along with the general view that Sandra can go do her photo ops and ribbon cutting while the serious business of running this town gets done in spite of her. “Cooper Nation” is still alive and well and is going nowhere anytime soon.
2. Over 3,100 people still voted for Ian Chadwick. His well publicised Facebook rant against a local popular restaurateur, garnered over 2,800 views on my post about it (a record for this blog) and yet he still only dropped 600 votes from 2010. So let’s take a look at those 2,800 views. This blog has around 400 readers that pretty much read everything I post about local politics. 95% of those readers probably were never Chadwick voters anyway. 500 views were probably double views by the same readers. Another 500 of those views were by people not eligible to vote in Collingwood. 5% of all the views of this blog are by people stumbling upon it by accident from Nigeria or Kuwait et al (that happens a lot). So where does that leave us? I would say conservatively 1,000 people viewed Chadwick’s online rude, overbearing behavior but still voted for him. He then does a blog post that says anyone that doesn’t understand Latin would not be voting for him anyway, how many of the 3,102 voters speak Latin? But they still voted for him anyway. So what would it take get those 3,102 people not to vote for Chadwick? He already hinted that he might run in 2018.
3. Sandy Cunningham still got 66 more votes than a person that I considered a very capable candidate Betty Donaher. That’s 1,506 people that were so disengaged in the local political scene, that they voted for someone who wasn’t even running and was arguably the worst councillor sitting around the last council table, in terms of knowing the material he was discussing and voting on.
4. Mike Edwards got the second highest amount of votes as a councillor and he has been mailing it in for the past four years. Every person I have spoken to about Mike says he will blow with the wind when it comes to his decision making like he always has. He is the epitomic Teflon man nothing seems to stick to him. Who the hell are these people that keep voting for him? Obviously people that are not paying attention.
5. Kevin Lloyd still made it onto council all be it by only 38 votes. He is the classic angry man. But he still managed to get 3,402 people to fill in the box next to his name. What were those people thinking? I was forwarded at least a half dozen story’s about his personal dealings with different people around town. I did not post any of it because I try to keep this blog separated from peoples personal lives. But here’s a hint, the way he dealt with anyone that disagreed with him on council is very much the way he deals with people in his personal life. I found it quite disturbing that he still managed to scrape in.
So the above tells me there are around 3,000 people in Collingwood that like the status quo and do not want to see any ‘newcomers messing with things’. Most of those 3,000 people will still be around next election. As will a slate of candidates to promote the status quo agenda. Change won this battle but has not won the war.