A view of Surrey’s City Hall. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

OUR VIEW: Dissenting opinions fuel sound Surrey government

Bad government, conversely, sees a pool of toadies hopping to the leader’s command

A media report Tuesday morning contemplating the continued “existence” of the Safe Surrey Coalition has some councillors referring to it in the past tense while others insist it’s a going concern.

Other than serving up a little morning coffee drama, it portends little, and here’s why.

The Safe Surrey Coalition, led by Mayor Doug McCallum, stands on three campaign pillars: Abandoning light rail transit in favour of expanding SkyTrain, “smart” development, and replacing the RCMP with a made-in-Surrey police force.

Other than that, the council members are free to vote on other matters how they see fit. And this is good.

Canadians gripe about MPs, MLAs and councillors who always vote along the party line, doing so out of blind obedience, or fear of being passed over for plum posts if they don’t fall in line.

OUR VIEW: Surrey deserves policing details

OUR VIEW: Young Surrey athletes stir pride

OUR VIEW: Gas prices are ungodly

It is a good thing when politicians vote their conscience and don’t rent their mind out to the slate, coalition, party or whatever. Good government has informed politicians voting independently. Bad government sees a pool of toadies hopping to the leader’s command.

Surrey has seen fractious councils that still get things done. Perhaps the most quarrelsome in recent memory was when mayor Bob Bose and his three Surrey Civic Electors colleagues shared the council table with five Surrey Electors Team councillors. Sure it was rock-em sock-em at times, but despite – and perhaps because of – that tension, some good things still came up the middle for Surrey.

There needs to be debate in council chambers. When politicians vote in rigid tandem, the danger is that this can lead to complacency and a sense of disenfranchisement among the electorate.

Surrey residents need to know that if one council member won’t listen to their concerns, another might well champion them.

That’s called representing the will of the people, rather than imposing the will of the party on the people.

The former rarely occurs without the presence of independent thought.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta council approves plan to reopen city facilities

Next phase of plan includes outdoor pools, summer day camps, outdoor fitness programs

UPDATE: Missing 37-year-old woman has been found

Cheryl Brovold was last seen June 2 in the 15800-block of 96th Avenue

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JUNE 6: ‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre; B.C. starts to see employment return

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

Surrey student earns TD Community Leadership scholarship

Harjot Bal recognized for his One Blood For Life Foundation

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read