Municipal politics not a team sport
We were interested to hear the announcement about four Airdrie City council candidates “teaming up” last week (See story on pages 1 and 2).
Although we don’t think it is a bad idea for candidates to stand together on local issues, we are a bit confused and concerned about how Team Airdrie United plans to operate.
Unlike provincial or federal governments, the municipal level is not run on a partisan-politics system. Candidates run as individuals and stand alone on their decisions to vote for or against a motion when it comes before council.
They are solely accountable to residents and most people we have spoken to like it that way.
We believe it makes people nervous for a group of candidates to try and be voted in together to make up the majority of council and therefore guarantee they get their way.
We agree with Team Airdrie United’s idea that the community needs 24-hour health care, but it is safe to say so does every other person running for council. Most people would agree Airdrie’s growth needs to be sensible and every candidate we have spoken to has said they will make residents a priority.
However, there should not be “party politics” or “voting to toe the party line” in municipal politics.
Residents vote for the candidates who identify with their opinions and values as individuals.
Many residents may have voted for one, two or three of these candidates on their own but may not agree with other members or their decision to be part of this group. We wonder if Team Airdrie United, which may have good intentions, is confusing and alienating residents by trying to change the structure of municipal government.