Author Topic: NO TO ELECTED MAYOR  (Read 10720 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: YES TO A REFERENDUM, YES TO VOTERS BEING GIVEN A REAL CHOICE
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2008, 11:28:41 PM »
 
I'm hopeful that a sufficent number of people will, as I do, find that discussion irrelevent to the question of whether Swindon should now have an elected mayor for it to turn into a own-goal for your campaign.

You find the topic of 140,000 voters being deliberately denied even the opportunity to vote one way or another as 'irrelevent'?

I believe the deliberate denial of the ability to vote as being supremely relevant and I do want to discuss it.

Well, if you must.

I must and it's a shame that you won't.

If one is content with the status quo (or at least believe it is the best of the options that government allow us to consider) then a referendum is a pointless waste of money.

...and presumably content with the 'ends justifies the means' approach to democracy, even when the means were unfair to the electorate? 

What the review panel did, and what happened in the council chamber in September 2001 was not far short of banana republic politics.

If you're content to treat those events, and discussion of them as 'irrelevant' because you approve of the end result......then it's little wonder that voters remain disillusioned with politics and politicians when they see the practical application of that attitude day after day in Parliament and Council Chambers.

I think a referendum is worth the cost regardless of the outcome. The electorate was unfairly denied a vote in 2001 and I believe giving them that vote back would be worth every penny.


Offline Alligator

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Re: YES TO A REFERENDUM, YES TO VOTERS BEING GIVEN A REAL CHOICE
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 02:07:33 PM »
It seems, from this thread, that many people see democracy as a principle into which people can opt in and out of at will, depending on whether or not they agree with the end result. 

The root of the issue under discussion right now is that of what went on in September 2001 and whether that was in the interests of democracy and the people of Swindon. 

On that question, the choices are quite simple:

Those that believe it wasn't can choose to sign the petition
Those that believe it was shouldn't sign the peitition
Those that believe it wasn't but support the outcome anyway can wrestle with their consciences.

By raising the question of whether Swindon should have a referendum, we're simply offering people the chance to decide whether they want to have the right to decide on a an elected mayor.  The debate isn't yet about what the outcome of the referendum should or shouldn't be as that could come later if a referendum even gets off the ground.  The principle is far more basic, it's about democracy and how it works in Swindon. 

To those people that support the current model, I would ask that if you see the arguments against an elected mayor as being strong, what reason have you got to be fearful of a referendum?

I will be one of the first to admit that, as a supporter of the elected mayor model, I may not agree the outcome of any referendum, but I'll be a damn sight happier accepting a democractically chosen model than I am with any system that was selected on such a flawed and shameful way.

As with many of the subjects discussed on talkswindon, I think that, on a matter of such importance, the silence of those councillors who swarm all over this site in the weeks before they face the electorate in local elections, have been so quiet. 

Offline Mellon

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Re: NO TO ELECTED MAYOR
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2008, 09:16:16 AM »
excellent post alligator . thats exactly how it should work.
"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together."

Offline Justin Tomlinson

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Re: NO TO ELECTED MAYOR
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2008, 08:55:59 AM »
Full credit for Talk Swindon for highlighting this issue.

I am not 100% either way, but as I have said in various media interviews the way the town is run should be decided by the local residents.  For some towns Mayors will work, for some it won't.

In this case I am certainly reading what people are saying.  O0

Offline Terminatrix

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Re: yes to a local referendum
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2008, 03:35:43 PM »
Glad to see a councillor finally expressing an opinion.

Can I ask you Justin, what's your view on the original 2001 consultation, review panels actions and whether the councils constitution should have been changed during the 'night of the long knives' council meeting on the 27th of September 2001 ?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: yes to a local referendum
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2008, 11:00:56 AM »
 
 
Glad to see a councillor finally expressing an opinion.

Can I ask you Justin, what's your view on the original 2001 consultation, review panels actions and whether the councils constitution should have been changed during the 'night of the long knives' council meeting on the 27th of September 2001 ?

 
The elephant in the room.

There are a significant number of our current councillors that were present in the 2001 council meeting when a debateless vote was taken in a leaderless and executiveless council chamber.

They are:

Councillors Andy Albinson, Steve Allsopp, Ray Ballman, Michael Barnes, Mike Bawden, Mavis Childs, Doreen Dart, Michael Dickinson, Melanie Duff, Fionuala Foley, Brian Ford, David Glaholm, Mary Martin, Nick Martin, Derique Montaut, Stan Pajak, Garry Perkins, Kevin Small, Peter Stoddart, Justin Tomlinson and Steve Wakefield.

Maurice Fanning and Ian Dobie had previously sent their apologies for their absences. 


The other councillors present that night were:

Arthur Archer, John Archer, Carolyn Arkell, Bernard Baker, Sue Bates, Anne Baxter, Derek Benfield, Peter Brown,  David Couch, Brenda Craven, Jim D’Avila, Phillip Demmen, Maureen Dilley, Pambos conomides, Chris Eley, Mike Evemy, Gunter Gussefeld, Lisa Hawkes, Wendy Johnson, Kelvin King, Charles Lister, Caroline Martin, Glen McAllister, Jemima Milton, Teresa Page, Judith Peppitt,  Geraldine Robertson, Keith Small, Bert Smith, Philip Steele, Douglas Stewart, John Taylor, Barrie Thompson, and Richard Young.

The three councillors in coloured text were the three that headed up the supposedly 'Independant' review panel which, ermmmm, 'reviewed' the 2001 consultation......independantly ?...although one already was the Labour leader of the council (Sue Bates -under a "Trial" of the leader+cabinet model), one was about to become leader (Conservative leader Mike Bawden - after his motion of no confidence Bates's executive) and the other one helped Bawden do it, (Lib Dem leader Mike Evemy - by supporting Bawdens motion).


And you'll doubtless recognise many of these ex-councillors as people who regularly stand for re-election in local elections.

There are Talkswindon members to be found in both of these groups so it's disappointing not to see any comment coming from them.

But not surprising  ;)   

Swindons recent political history is like badly hung wallpaper which is riddled with air bubbles.  Press firmly on one bubble and another one pops up.  There's so many bubbles it's difficult to judge which ones should be pressed just for fun and which ones need slicing open and sticking down again properly.

This one's a slicer.