Democracy denied

Why is Summerland not voting on prison proposal when we go to the polls Nov. 19?

The election chatter south of the border is a lot more positive than our local electoral rhetoric.

While our American neighbours are busy debating the pros and cons on a variety of referendum issues and initiatives important to them, our politicians are fighting us tooth and nail, denying us those same democratic rights.

Instead of referendums we are still being subjected to Gordon Campbell’s innovative dictator-style alternative approval process, which essentially means that if we don’t like the decisions made by our politicians, we can always sue.

Defiant politicians are like a deep-seated virus in our electoral system.

They keep people away from the polls, and deter qualified candidates from putting their name on the ballot, because they don’t want to be labelled as being ‘one of them’.

We don’t have to look far and deep to find examples of that defiant attitude:

Against the will of the people the Summerland council voted to change the official community plan and the zoning for Rattlesnake Mountain.

Sometime later the people had to petition those same city councillors to get a mandatory referendum on the issue of building a multi-million-dollar police station.

In keeping with that same attitude, the citizens of Summerland have been denied a referendum on building a prison in our back yard, a development that would change the rural laid-back character of our city dramatically.

Why are we not voting on that referendum when we go to the polls Nov. 19, when it could have been administered at no extra cost?

The missing ballot promotes speculation that Mayor Perrino is hoping to get the nomination for the BC Liberal party, in return for helping the province build that prison in Summerland.

Andy Thomsen