Let the Cameras Record – Democracy can Handle it

THUNDER BAY – One day, perhaps very soon, the idea that people are smarter than politicians give them credit will sink in to elected officials. Thunder Bay City Council is set to debate a motion on suspending televised coverage of Council sessions until the election for fear that incumbent Councillors might have an unfair advantage over challengers.

Ridiculous.

For challengers, it is likely the action that those incumbents are doing that have motivated them to seek office to replace them. Having voters have the ability to see what they are doing is likely a benefit to those challengers.

For incumbents, the image of hiding from responsibility and from voters would likely rip into their campaigns, and hurt them more than help them, should the Councillors decide to hide from voters.

The idea that we should play “hide and seek” with democracy is one that should take Councillors about two minutes to vote down.

One of the issues in Northwestern Ontario with several politicians is that they don’t share their ideas and views with voters. In the Internet age that simply is not acceptable.

There are many issues today where our elected representatives should be sharing more information with voters, rather than less.

It is unlikely that the Cable Ten coverage of City Council meetings generates massive viewership, however suspending that coverage during an election campaign is a bad idea, and one that should be voted down quickly so Council can focus on important issues.

That of course is just my opinion, as always your mileage may vary.

James Murray