‘Change’ won this battle but has not won the war.


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.

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13 thoughts on “‘Change’ won this battle but has not won the war.

  1. Cooper in ONLY as there was NO alternative. Arrogant clown retread or one of the incumbents who cant be trusted. Fresh face might have been successful.

    • Hey Mickey, Have you ever actually spoken to the “arrogant clown retread”? If you had you might have seen that there WAS actually an alternative to the Loblaw’s check out girl. You are the epitome of whom this post was written about.

  2. OK, here is the problem in a nutshell.
    Each voter has too many votes. We have seven councillors so – for some weird reason – we give each citizen seven votes. But, as anyone with half a brain will understand, these two numbers are completely unrelated. There is no logical reason to give us each seven votes.
    What happens is that each of us has two or three candidates that we passionately like, maybe two or three that we passionately dislike, and the rest are just a fuzzy grey blob in the middle. And this fuzzy grey blob is where our votes get used up on people that we know nothing about and have no strong feelings about. But these votes count just as much as the ‘passionate’ votes!
    This excess of votes allows people to mess around (eg voting for a candidate who isnt standing) or make decisions based on stupid reasons (eg simple name recognition or because they went to high school with that person).
    The solution? Give each voter just three votes! Simple! Done! You will then get a better result, more reflective of the electorate’s true feelings.

    Now, here is a little conspiracy theory aspect to consider. This will never change because incumbents generally tend to benefit from the ‘fuzzy grey blob’ effect. New candidates with lower profiles are generally disadvantaged.

    • This is actually a really good point. I’d say it’s pretty likely only a very small minority actually knew in-depth all 9 names they voted for – narrowing the number down would decrease the ‘throw away votes’. Would be similar to how the ‘ward system’ works in other municipalities (I believe) – so people would vote for Mayor, DM, and then 1-3 councillors. Interesting idea.

      • Don’t like it Bill and B. I am way too much of a control freak politically to let anyone else make those kinds of decisions for me. I want to vote for all 7 councillors, sorry.

      • How do you figure someone else is making choices for you when you dont get seven votes? I dont think you follow my argument at all.
        When you make seven votes you are simply casting those votes into a big bucket of thousands of votes made by thousands of people. Everyone could have ten votes and cast them into a larger bucket or three votes and cast them into a smaller bucket. At the end, the top seven candidates from the bucket are selected to sit on council. The number of votes each individual casts and the number of councillors selected really have nothing to do with each other. I suppose having seven votes gives you the illusion that you are somehow voting for ‘a complete council’. But it is just an illusion.
        The concept of having just three votes each really addresses the concerns raised in your original post. We get just as many passionate informed votes cast and way less throwaway ill-informed votes. No way would you be letting anyone else make decisions for you!

  3. Sometimes you have to just give your head a shake. I spoke to people who voted for Sandra Cooper only because she was the mayor….I asked them if they had read anything about her in the newspapers, online etc. and the collective answer was “no”. A few people admitted that they wouldn’t have bothered voting if it hadn’t been a mail in ballot which was FREE to post.
    Sadly, quite a few people have crawled back into their shells and didn’t bother voting because they are afraid of change.
    Steve makes a good point about the numbers and if the new people elected, stand their ground and strive for a better Collingwood then hopefully, we will see positive CHANGE.

  4. My favourite story this post-election season was of a senior citizen (long-time Collingwood resident) who dutifully voted for Cooper because “she was such a nice lady at the grocery store all the years”. WHAT? Really? That is a qualification to run a multi-million dollar company? More unreal is no one takes that conversation to the next place.
    Baffled Listener: “Oh really? What was her position at the grocery store all those years?”
    Uninformed Voter: “Cashier”
    Baffled Listener: “Just Cashier? She wasn’t promoted to head cashier or supervisor or manager after 20+ years at the store and because of her superior leadership skills, her vision, her involvement in the store community with other employees, etc.?”
    Uniformed Voted: “No just a cashier, but she was always so nice!”

    …just one of the 3,000 you speak of…and sadly I’m sure there is as they say “a lot more where that came from”

    • Good points Steve, but we won’t know some leanings until after a few votes go by. I won’t slag anyone until they are exposed as puppets but the last Council had promise – or so some thought – and imploded. No worries about Brian and Kathy… we will go from there. As for the Board appointments.. bring in new blood and not puppets of the past. Clean slate.

  5. Well no matter where you go there you are. I spoke to some locals in the days before the election and some voted for Cooper because they went to high school with her.That’s It. No idea of her accomplishments or her record at all. Many people are just not engaged enough to have an opinion worth listening to. That’s what were up against dude.

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