Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grassroots support

A lot of people get frustrated - and justifiably so - with the political chaos generated by the 13 municipalities in our region. With exasperation in their voices, citizens ask themselves why the provincial government doesn't force amalgamation.

Personally, I don't think it's fair to expect Premier Campbell to wave his magic wand and amalgamate the CRD. I'm not a fan of this kind of "from the top" solution. It would generate deep resentment and bitterness among some residents of the Greater Victoria Area for a decade, maybe longer.

What is needed is a bottom up approach. If we want amalgamation we need to build grassroots support for the idea. First we need to develop broad support for amalgamation, and then we need to communicate that support to the provincial government.

There will always be some members of the public who oppose amalgamation. And in some cases, their opposition will be vocal and rabbid. But in my opinion it would be more difficult to remain angry about amalgamation if it came about as a result of a democratic grassroots campaign.

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