In addition to the list of qualifiers presented by Mark Ellis in last week’s paper, I feel it is vitally important that our municipal councillors have the highest standard of moral integrity, exemplified by truthfulness, trustworthiness, fairness and the setting of the common good above private interest.
In addition to these qualities, councillors will need to foster unity within the council, with the municipal staff and with the citizens of Sooke. This will require openness and transparency, a willingness to look into issues with open minds without holding to previous opinions and the ability to pose alternatives rather than just saying no to a recommended course of action. The council will need to consult together, not confront each other, to find the best solutions for the betterment of the community taking into account the views of all the stakeholders involved.
Our world leaders have failed to address the systemic issues facing our unsustainable economies and the resulting gross inequalities that will continue to foment conflicts throughout our world. The people of the world have yet to address the overriding problem of over-consumption and its root moral cause – materialism that underlies such pervasive issues as climate change, pollution, violence and corruption that threaten our world. The most important influence and opportunity we have to mitigate, at least to some degree, the effects of these global crises is to develop a sustainable, resilient region based on co-operation and mutual respect.
To realize this opportunity in the coming tumultuous years requires all of us to work together with our municipal council providing a vital unifying role. In voting for candidates, it would, I feel, be better for us to weigh more heavily the qualities of character, the experience and the objectivity of the candidates over and above how they stand on particular issues.