Editorial: The slow erosion of democracy

Political decisions made without public input not democratic

Oh those pesky expenses. Eyebrows were raised when Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks claimed $600 in expenses for gas while the new services building was being built. Big deal. If all the elected representatives claimed such a small amount all of our communities would be in better shape. I can’t even imagine who made a big deal out of it, considering all the work the elected do for free.

There was a comment made about the new proposed four-year terms for local government. It appears the term was decided by the elected and a resolution was passed at the Union of BC Municipalities, and the public doesn’t really get any say in this. Are four-year terms a good thing or a bad thing? Projects will stand more of a chance of getting completed and the elected will get more knowledgeable. Time will tell, but it is similar to elected officials voting themselves a pay raise – kind of self-serving. If it was a democratic decision like they say, then they would have let the public decide. It seems more and more of our democratic rights are being eroded and we barely notice. Too often decisions are made without public consultation. The public is good for one thing for sure and that is paying taxes.

Medical marijuana production is making headlines all over the place but the issuing of licences to grow and distribute are few and far in between.  There is still the old notion among some that “reefer madness” will prevail but in reality things won’t be much different than now. There will be fewer mom and pop grow ops and mortgage helpers, but at least the grow ops will be known to police, security and location will ensure public safety. It is typical though, that the government takes over a thriving industry without much public input and leaves the little guy high and dry.

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