I was chatting with someone the other day. Not a friend, just someone that you bump into from time to time and end up talking about the weather, politics or local issues. This person knows about this blog. She said (not the exact words) “I hope that we don’t have four more years of constant nattering from the side lines”. I do a bit of nattering, so this was an indirect or actually a direct swipe at me. I left this comment alone, I was not in the mood for engaging and justifying myself, at 7.30 am on a work day. I bid the lady a good day and went about my business, feeling somewhat bummed out, actually. Then the next day, I noticed on my VFAN Facebook page, a name that I did not recognize said this (again not the exact same words because they have now removed the comment): “Does this mean we are in for another four years of nitpicking about every little decision that the new council makes?” I replied “No (the persons name) as long you don’t read my blog”. Again I was pretty bummed out.
The lesson for Nobody in all this is for all my bravado and bluster, it seems I have rather a thin skin (Bob and I should start a support group). As I was toiling away at work that day, I thought to myself “Self. Turn that frown upside down and let’s use this negative energy for a blog post”. So here it is:
8 years ago a very effective local citizens group called V.O.T.E. had a lot to do with deciding the 2006 Collingwood municipal election result. I did a filler piece on this group back in March of this year and posted it while I was away on vacation here:
I won’t get into the ins and outs of this group, read the above blog for more info. The thing with V.O.T.E. was, if they had not been around in 2005 – 2006. That 2006 municipal election would have ended up with Rick Lloyd as Mayor and Sandra Cooper as Deputy Mayor. Pretty much what we had in 2010, if not in name but in actual power structure at town hall.
After the 2006 election, the general view seemed very similar to this 2014 election. A lot of people (I wasn’t one of them) thought finally the town had rid itself of the cronyism and nepotism. Democracy had prevailed, time to move on. V.O.T.E. members stopped showing up for meetings, now that Admiral Collingwood Place was sorted out and getting built ……… Bwahahaha Assaff……. Sorry about that, another one of my moments.
Within 18 months this group went from 600 members to not being able to fill a phone booth for one of its meetings. That ladies and gentleman was the end of V.O.T.E. because there work was done.
At the time, myself being someone that likes to read anything political, was following 3 local blogs “The Admiral” whom I modeled this blog after. Whatever Chadwick was calling his blog back then. And East End Underground. These blogs set the tone and conversation of the political scene in Collingwood at that time. The backstabbing and back biting was relentless (VFAN proving ground). I think the dreaded patio issue would never have gained as much traction as it did in the 2010 election, without these three blogs continually chirping away in the background. Also you have to remember Facebook and Twitter were still in their infancy back then.
Where were the other folks on the VOTE side of the argument? I have no idea but they basically seeded the political ground back to the Cooper, Lloyd faction and their political backers, that still predominate in our town. This led to the 2010 election result, which led to the voting bloc, which led to the latest election result.
OK I can hear you saying impatiently “What does that have to do with your thin skin Nobody?”
Good question. Do you all honestly think that the group behind the voting bloc has packed up its bags and given up on politics in Collingwood? At the swearing in I heard a lot of “That’s all water under the bridge, it’s time to look forward and to move on.” Nice idea and I am willing to see how that works out for us. Within one year efforts will be made by the forces of evil 🙂 to try and control the conversation. Also, this new council even those that I supported, are not getting a free pass from me. This group hasn’t even met yet and I already get a feeling that gabfests, committee’s and process will be the order of the day. Rather than a more balanced approach. Important big money issues yes talk it to death. But other items like the no brainer dinner cruise proposal, make those types of things as easy to get approved as possible. They will have budget and financial issues to deal with, but the town can’t just sit still and start navel gazing, they will have to be creative. This council was voted in as a vessel for change, so change we better get.
So in answer to anyone that might be interested: Yes the nattering and the nitpicking will continue.
Ah that’s better. The calming effects of writing a blog.