Issues that are Important to Me, a Series: My Moral Compass and Local Advocacy

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As the municipal election gathers momentum candidates and voters begin to draw lines that clearly outline what defines them politically whether it is platform, where they sit on the political spectrum or their political position or ideology. Whatever one calls it, as the voting date nears, political views are often simplified into categories that support these platforms, positions and ideologies, such as being a conservative, a socialist, right-wing, left-wing and the list goes on. These terms help label voters and candidates alike so they can easily align themselves with those that are of like mind and philosophy.

I understand why politicians and voters do this. If you’re on either side of the fence, voter or politician, once elected, a gap of consultation exists. Elected officials no longer have the ability to canvass on every item that will be placed in front of them during council or trustee meetings. How does this happen? Motions can be part of many meetings which require an elected official vote for or against. Decisions will need to be made in real-time and voters want to know how their elected official’s ‘moral compass’ will guide their decision making.

I can’t simplify my political philosophy in one or two words, but there are some key issues that are important to me. I’ll be blogging a series of these issues to share with voters as the election nears. These will be my ‘moral compass’ and how I decide to vote when not given the opportunity to communicate and consult with my constituency.

Local Representation and Advocacy:

Often Federal and Provincial bodies determine goals they would like to have carried out at the local levels. These mandates tend to be done from a macro level, or what is perceived to be the best thing for the majority of the province or country. The challenge is that these bodies are typically centralized and don’t have the geographical presence or resources to understand all local needs. This is where I believe politicians at municipal levels play a key role. An elected official at the municipal level should advocate for local needs by having a strong leadership voice, one that can negotiate and manage upwardly.This does not need to be a negative. Advocacy can be a positive thing. I have played this role with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Child and Youth Services in various professional positions while employed in the public sector. Advocacy is about partnering and working with levels of government to aide their efforts to implement change. By advocating local needs the change can be revised to align with geographical requirements as well as expedite a ministry mandate.

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