The odds of winning a major lottery are extremely long. There is a statistical computation involving factorials that I long ago forgot. I have been watching the ever increasing number of idiots who continue to file nomination papers for the upcoming election. Municipal politics is too often taken too lightly. Think about it. In Canada, everyone (with an income) pays income tax. Subsequently, after the income tax is removed, you make purchases (groceries etc etc) and pay sales tax on each purchase.
Alas, the home owner (property owner) then gets slapped with property tax – a tax based on what you own. Property owners are unique cats in that, unlike others, we are paying three levels of tax. What is alarming is the type of people that believe such heavily taxed individuals as the property owner are dupes.
In most municipalities, local government is often among the largest employers. Around council tables, complex borrowing matters including bond issue comes up. Municipal councils frequently debate and discuss contentious matters such as zoning designations which if done in error can lead to expensive (to the rate payer) litigation.
I look at the list of aspirant candidates and wonder what planet some of these aspirants live on. A reality check is in order for aspiring candidates. I still shudder when I recall a face-to-face conversation I had with one hopeful who was thinking about tossing his hat into the ring for a Regional Council position. Given the astronomical odds against winning a lottery and getting easy money, the odds appear much better in most local political races. Most often, there are fewer than ten potential candidates whereas there are millions of Loto tickets sold each week.
When I asked this potential candidate to help me understand exactly what qualifications he possessed, he unabashedly responded that he had raised three children. I am not too sure how procreation (or procreating) is a job skill….but. In that particular case, I recognized that this middle aged individual had not held a job for the entire (near) 20 years I had known him.
I openly laughed at his absolute misconception of the knowledge required to intelligently discuss high level finances or potentially complex legal issues and represent MY interests as a rate payer. Heaven for fend, such matters require the use of a different part of the human body than is used to procreate! I respectfully told this individual that he was NOT qualified and should move on to some other pursuit such as finding gainful employment.
Perhaps the reason we get the type of local governments that we seem unhappy with is largely because we have come to accept less than is needed to fill the role of a councilor. Go ahead, knock on my door and ask for my vote in the election this fall. You will find that I will treat you like anyone else who is applying for a $120,000/year job. You will find that my questioning is intended to reveal a skill set beyond what is needed at a local variety store.
Similarly, I will be evaluating your communication skills. After all, you will be expected to work with others (your colleagues on council as well as staff) in understandable English. Similarly, if I have questions after your election; I will expect that you will speak with me in understandable English. The ability to speak another language is a plus BUT it is not an alternative to communication skill in English.
Finally, when you hand me an item of campaign literature, make certain that it is factual, accurate and without errors. Do not (ever) hand me a piece of campaign literature like the one depicted here. It is entirely negative, is worse than adolescent and is unworthy of any adult seeking public trust.