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Defending bullying behaviour doesn’t work

Airdrie letters_text

RE: "RVC councillor addresses 'erroneous comments,'" letter, Feb. 11

Dear Editor,

Coun. Daniel Henn's letter is the typical self-righteous drivel we so often hear from authoritative dictatorships that suppress all opposition. According to Henn, the three sanctioned councillors must apologize for having had the audacity to express a contrary view – either that or suffer the consequences of Rocky View County's (RVC) modernized gulag until such time they are re-educated. Unfortunately for Henn, very few, if any Canadians would be willing to live in a society where opposition to government is forbidden. In a feeble attempt to defend bullying, Henn goes on to justify the despotic actions of the "Sorry Six" by referring to the code of conduct, reminiscent of a dictator claiming they uphold democracy. 

Council members who have allegedly been wronged (as long as they represent the majority) get to decide on the sanctions. Orderly, egalitarian and free societies have judges, arbitrators or the like deciding on punishments, if any. In this case, the council majority, having given itself the right to spend infinite public funds, did solicit an arm's-length opinion as to whether there had been a code of conduct violation. Even if that opinion was fair and neutral, it remains highly questionable that suppressing opposition is a justifiable use of taxpayer money.

In any case, it is still far beyond unbiased for the Sorry Six to unilaterally determine the sanctions, especially since there are no guidelines to determine what type of misconduct is deserving of what manner of sanction. Rather, council decides arbitrarily. As we have seen, the severity of the sanction(s) is entirely dependent on whether the alleged misconduct was committed by a member of the council majority or the minority. 

Individual RVC residents certainly have the right to sympathize with the council minority or the council majority – or neither – as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Nevertheless, how can it be justified when the majority has endless access to the public purse in its attempts to go after the minority, while the minority must use their own funds to defend themselves? How can this be anything other than bullying?

It's all very fascinating – mostly fascinating that the provincial government allows this to go on.  

Jerry Arshinoff
Former Division 2 councillor

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