The votes are counted and the LTC who will “govern” us for the next four years is in place to the extent that we, the people of SaltSpring were allowed a say, but which is neither much, enough, or as we like it. The chairman of the LTC, who will “Mayor” SaltSpring over that period, remains to be sent our way by the Trust Council. We have no say on that and only an indirect minute input into the appointment.
Most likely “they” will saddle us with Peter Luckham, a Thetis Island Trustee elected by 141 voters to whom ostensibly he will be accountable for whatever he may do to us in SaltSpring and of which they may not even hear.
Things like freedom from colonialism do not happen unless made to happen. It is naive to expect “them” to dismantle their bureaucratic empire – it is ours to get rid of this aberration of “local governance” and regain our birthright to govern ourselves. By definition, freedom is not given, it must be taken.
De-colonization will not happen by itself. I raised the issue with the Trustee candidates and made suggestions for course correction but the candidates neither criticized, nor countered my suggestion with a better one of their own – indeed no one else mentioned “colonialism” in the election campaign. Yet, in desperation to escape colonialism we risked becoming urbanized while most of us are here, refugees from urbanism.
Yes, these not-candid candidates kept silent like fish about colonialism. Now the pair who got elected are about to cross their hearts and swear allegiance to a colonial Trust.
Democracy, is the Regime of Change, I learned at school. Local Trustee Peter Grove, sought our trust for the next four years, projecting his “Experience” – that which he acquired by “governing” us for the past seven years. Experience tends to hobble the mind and prompts old solutions to new problems, which results in more of the same rather than progress. An old CBC directive aimed to counterweight experience with a delightful line urging staff “to remain flexible lest they become rigid”. It recognizes the rigidity of “experience” and with that in mind I will pray for Devine intervention to make Peter take that CBC urging to heart.
I do not know how well Ms. Patrick has prepared herself for the task ahead and I for one, wonder about that and will watch the LTC with interest. Likely in the course of the term I will occasionally address her and the LTC, for the need will arise, this I can predict. But when I do that I will not be offering “unsolicited advice” I will be exercising my civil right to address the government and I would expect the LTC to honour their obligation to listen. I know that the task Ms. Patrick faces is formidable; what with the colonial overseer about to arrive, and her co-Trustee who may not shed his “experience” and not sever, or even loosen his tight ties with the Trust Staff?
Oh, the Staff ... In a representative democracy, where magistrates are accountable to the people, Staff are to be controlled by the peoples’ representatives. It is is not for the tail to wag the dog, which is how folk put it. I would suggest to Trustee Patrick that she read my book “RAR – Czarism in Salt Spring”, free on my website, for an insight of what she is about to face down there in that office by the Hydro yard.
In closing, instead of “congratulations” to those elected, I will express “appreciation” to all who run in the election. I am of the view that elections are not like boxing bouts and I do not see them as confrontation, I see them as a facility to select from those willing to serve who is most in tune with the needs of society at that particular time. With that mindset my appreciation goes to all those who offered to serve us the populace. And I plead with them to come forth again, and be among those who will throw their hat in the ring.
Wishing us all the best in the interim until they next election, or referendum, whatever it may be.