Letters to the Editor

February 24, 2004

     No one should have been surprised at John Gerretsen's announcement to council last week that the province would ignore the majority vote of the referendum. To be surprised, one would have to hold the mistaken belief that we live in a democracy, despite all of the evidence to the contrary over the past four years.

     When only two of the 13 former municipalities wanted provincially imposed arbitration over restructuring, the province said "Screw the majority" and commissioned Harry Kitchen to tell us what was good for us. When over 70% of the public submissions to the Kitchen Commission asked for a two-tier structure, Harry Kitchen said "Screw the majority" and imposed the single-tier system that province favoured. So why would anyone expect that the province would now say anything but "Screw the majority" over the referendum results? Surely no one is still naive enough to believe in majority rule.

     In your smug, self-congratulatory, "we-told-you-so" editorial last Friday, your paper supported a government decision to ignore a clear majority vote by the citizens of this municipality. In so doing, you are spitting in the face of the most basic of democratic principals. Apparently you are not concerned about living in a society where "Big Brother" gets to arbitrarily ignore the clearly expressed will of the people. You should be. When a government is allowed to impose decisions contrary to a vote of the majority, democracy has ceased to function. For you to applaud this action is obscene.

     Tom Wood
     Twp. of Verulam

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