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theskeptic

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Crouse's Third Party Initiative

 

Crouse's “third party” initiative to require political activists to disclose their identity, in itself, reveals much about the identity of Crouse and his perception of democracy.

Of course, Crouse is marketing this proposal under the currently popular mantra of transparency. He seems to think that transparency is the cornerstone of democracy. If that is the case, why then do we have secrecy of the ballot???? Why shouldn't everyone be required to openly and publicly declare for whom they cast their vote? Don't we have the “right to know” who actually voted for this guy Crouse and his alter ego Cathy Heron?

The obvious answer is that secrecy of the ballot is the cornerstone of democracy not transparency. In a real democracy, people need to be able to cast their ballots free of any possible negative repercussions to their jobs or families. The minister or priest needs to have his ballot kept secret lest he alienate a part of his congregation. The businessman needs to keep his ballot secret lest he alienate part of his customer base. The employee needs to keep his ballot secret lest he curry disfavour with management. The public employee needs to keep his ballot secret lest he be unfairly criticized of bias in the course of his duties when ,in fact, he is simply fulfilling his duties. It has little or nothing to do with the type of “retaliation” inferred by the intellectually shallow editorial recently published in the Gazette. It has everything to do with the very reasonable concern that disclosure of your political persuasion may negatively impact your livelihood. Secrecy of the ballot then is an entrenched practice so that voters can cast their ballots unfettered by concerns of repercussion and be able to express their vote as free as possible from undue influence.

If all of the foregoing justifies secrecy of the ballot, it would seem to apply with equal force to the situation in which a citizen elects to actively promote their ideas in the public forum. After all, the validity of an idea or an opinion stands upon the inherent logic and coherence of the idea itself. A2 + B2 = C2, if written on the blackboard, is true whether it was placed there by the schoolteacher or by Pythagoras himself. However, in many cases, and for a variety of non-sinister reasons, citizens need to keep their identity anonymous. This right to anonymity often transforms freedom of expression from a mere concept into a reality.

Why then is Crouse pursuing this Third Party initiative?

Firstly, the very name he has given it says much about his mindset. In a system of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” one would have thought he would call it a “first party” initiative rather than a “third party” initiative. The people are not the “third party” in the democratic equation in the mind of a real democrat.

Secondly, an open market place which allows for the free flow of ideas is an anathema to people like Crouse. He has never shown any particular skill in opposing an idea he does not like with a coherent substantive rebuttal. He seems to specialize in one line editorial quips and the promotion of personal attacks. If one does not know the author of an idea, it is difficult to attempt to counter that idea by discrediting the author.

Thirdly, I suggest, Crouse is perfectly aware that by requiring political activists to disclose their identity this will serve to stifle much of the opposition to his policies. Many people who hold responsible positions in society will weigh the possibility of damaging their business or profession against the desire to participate in the electoral process and conclude it is not worth the possible repercussions. Having effected censure ship under the guise of transparency, Crouse and his Court will be able to retain power and govern unfettered by the annoying cries of disagreement from the lowly peasant masses.

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KJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nailed it.
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #3 
Skeptic great points! Also, are in camera sessions transparent? Was Starbucks transparent? I never did get an answer to my question that I asked at council.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #4 
@ forgot:  Yes, it is curious that the Crouse administration is so "transparent" that they don't even respond to the legitimate queries of a tax-payer.  But then, Crouse doesn't even allow the Head Honcho's tweets to remain posted on his Twitter or Face book account.  All of which leaves me a bit skeptical as to the bona fides of his recent claims that he wants to see more transparency.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #5 
Croouse will have to be careful as to how he drafts his proposed policy or bylaw.  If it is drafted too loosely he will have to declare The Gazette as a "third party" given their editorial bias.  Additionallly, if you followed the last campaign, Crouse should have declared the Gazette as an "in kind donor" after all they did everything they could to get him re-elected.
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #6 
I am thinking that crouse has a PERSONAL agenda for his attack of a third party as he was totally blindsided and had no control of what happened. He had no control that people were made aware of issues. He did not want people to be informed. As you notice his election pamphlets had NO promises ----because his intention was to continue excess spending
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yes the team of crouse, brodhead, prefontaine, Osborne were a team supported by unions and still are on council. Nobody can tell me that they are independent thinkers. You have to include heron and there you go 5-2 votes. Yes crouse your transparency comes through loud and clear. Your 4 followers and you form a block. 5-2 5-2. 5-2
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #8 
If Crouse's "transparency agenda" was even vaguely genuine, the first thing he would do is publish a budget in a readily comprehensible format.  It is curious that multinationals with operations extending across the face of the industrialized world can do so ............. but St. Albert's budget remains "a mystery wrapped in an enigma" [to borrow from Churchill]

Of course, this arithmetic maze, designed to obfuscate rather than elucidate, serves the Administration quite nicely.  It becomes impossible for the citizenry to identify waste, excessive taxation, or egarious priorities.

If Crouse was sincerely interested in "transparency" he would rectify this "budgeting by deception" rather than using transparency as a guise to target his political opponents.  Possibly we should start demanding "transparency in the budget process" to test Crouse's actual commitment to "transparency."
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #9 
Angle parking is also a guise for crouse to build his parkades. Transparent? I think NOT. To create 12 new parking spaces they are creating a nightmare downtown. Is crouse that naive to think that we do not see through this charade? Disgusted!
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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #10 
forgot:  Just think of the situation re angle parking on saturdays when the 'Fafrmers Market is in operation. Perron Street will be something else...........I bet CROUSE was involved with this idea - another farce with his DARP dream.
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #11 
Of course crouse thought of angle parking. Just another transparent maneuver to get his way and raise our taxes.
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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #12 
Wait until they start counting the number of folks backing into traffic and colliding with oncoming cars which will only go up. In a city with zero experience anywhere with angle parking, local drivers are not used to it. Every time you back out, you have to look over your right shoulder into most vehicle's blind spots. Another moron at city hall likes this safety hazard to gain a dozen parking spots? Jaysus, spare me.
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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #13 
Picture the following possibilities re this angle parking beginning next month:

1)  With a collision that has taken place, those involved in waiting for the police to arrive and look into the situation you can only imagine the 'tie-up' of traffic:

2)  With the start-up of the Farmer's Market, with Perron Street being 'narrowed' - should be interesting if the St. Albert Transit  makes use of this road, narrow as it would be.

If angle parking is the answer, then why do you not see a increase in angle parking in Edmonton, such as along major roadways in Edmonton to increase parking for those doing businesss, such as 82nd Avenue, 118th Avenue, just to name a couple .

Whoever thought this 'stupid idea' up is not operating with a 'full deck' and if CROUSE had anything to say about it then  the aforementioned would also apply to him...........
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #14 
This sounds like a crouse thing. Maybe add draper to this ridiculous idea . There is a plan. Frustrate the people. Create a crisis. Then solve the crisis by building parkades and continue with DARP. Spend my money. Increase taxes. For nothing. As downtown will still not be a magnet.
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OverTaxedandAngry

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Reply with quote  #15 
Why is everyone lying to themselves? 

I can't wait to angle park downtown! Finally a legitimate reason for me to go visit our world class city centre.

My kids are so excited!!
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #16 
A friend was walking her dog in Oakmont. She met a dog which is often loose . She knows who the dog belongs to. She heard the owner call the dog. She responded that the owner keep the dog under control. The response she got was "Welcome to the neighbourhood" I think that this family more than any other in St. Albert should be setting an example. Entitlement?
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SweetLou

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Reply with quote  #17 
Let me guess - this dog owner is on city council.  
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SweetLou

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Reply with quote  #18 
Let me further guess - the dog was a german shepherd cross.
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #19 
@sweet Lou you are absolutely correct. My friend is fed up.
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forgot

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Reply with quote  #20 
What happened to skeptics comment?
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #21 
forgot:
I'm not sure what happened to it ... but here it is again for your convenience

The Hughes Motion Re-Visited
The fact that Heron, Osborne, and Prefontaine voted to block a motion to investigate the need for a policy respecting the use of City letterhead is rather revealing.

It doesn't seem to bother them that:
(a)  Crouse used his public office to conduct a personal vendetta;
(b)  Crouse's actions could have cost Durham his livelihood;
(c)  Crouse's actions could still result in an expensive and entirely unnecessary lawsuit against the City  and
(d) Crouse lacks the intestinal fortitude to deal with complaints in a direct and forthright manner.

It takes no particular foresight to see that if Crouse had done this to a McDonald's employee, the path of least resistance for McDonalds would simply have been to terminate that employee.  After all, why get into a confrontation with City Hall when there is an easy method to avoid doing so?  However, the broad significance of Crouse's tactics never seems to have dawned on any of these three councilors.

The argument which they presented at Council was that "he's the Mayor and so therefore he should be able to write letters".  This would indicate either that these three either lack the intellectual capacity to discern the real issue or they are intentionally duplicitous.  

The question never was "should the mayor be able to write letters to further the appropriate business of council?"  ---- the question was "should the Mayor be entitled to write inappropriate letters on City letterhead to further his personal political agenda?" 

If Heron, Osborne, and Prefontaine cannot recognize the difference in those two questions, one is forced to ask "do they have the requisite mental equipment to decide the bigger issues which will confront council?  Alternatively, if they did recognize the true issue and were simply trying to spin it in a different direction, that raises two other questions:  (a) "are Heron, Osborne , and Prefontaine independent actors or are they mere tools of Crouse?"........ and (b)  "do these three have no sense of decency?"

In the case of Heron, Osborne, and Prefontaine there always seems to be an over riding concern, namely   .... "does their elevator go all the way to the top floor?"
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