Editorial: Alliances and allegiances reign

Maneuvering in council could lead to defeat in election

It’s started. For the past three years District of Sooke council has been striving to get along, come to consensus on issues of importance to the residents and at least appear to work for the betterment of the entire community.

From all accounts, this seems to be breaking down with the election looming and many trying to raise their profiles and make themselves look good to the voters. The acrimony is veiled with politeness but it is unfortunately rather transparent. Decisions being made at the council table are not making some council members look good. It kind of feels like a scene from Shakespeare with maneuvering, back room deals and long knives. There’s not a lot of loyalty and there appears to be some sort of game going on with  alliances and affiliations. Probably just normal political stuff, but some councillor’s colours are showing.

It seems a little early for all of this with the election still eight months away but everyone who is running wants to look “good.” And they are starting early. The voters aren’t so easily convinced though, they have memories and definite opinions on our political personalities. They will be asking themselves questions such as: who works for the whole community? Who is aligned with special interest groups? Who is ethical and honest? Who’s a bully? Who has a personal agenda?

The next election will be a long, long four-year term if council is fractured and not working together. This is not a problem unique to Sooke, it happens in councils everywhere, but it is important that those who are thinking of running know the importance of working together for the common good. Serving on council is not easy, the  issues and time commitments are huge. It is public service not self service.