In Paradise, Nfld., a 19-year-old political science student ran for mayor and almost won. He received overwhelming support from members of his community seeking change.
Often, politicians lose focus on working for the benefit of their constituents in favour of playing political chess. Sometimes, one finds that the only way communities get things done is by working together on issues they know are relevant to them, rather than waiting for the government to get things done.
The whole point of a government is that representatives of the people are elected to stand for people’s rights, so it is unfortunate when they lose sight of this mandate.
However, when a politician works hand in hand with the community to try and make things work, that is an example of what a government should be like.
Recently, Scarborough Guildwood MPP Margarett Best held a meeting in conjunction with community organization, The Storefront, to discuss affordable housing initiatives in the Kingston Galloway and Orton Park area.
The same community organization regularly hosts a “community speak” event where members of the community can come together and discuss issues of concern within the community.
The Port Union Community and Recreation Centre is a focal point for its community, frequently bringing together members of Port Union in initiatives that benefit the whole community.
It is also where Pickering-Scarborough East MP Dan McTeague has hosted townhall meetings. In order to remain relevant to the communities they serve, political leaders need to continually go back to those communities and discover what is really important to people, rather than sitting in council chambers arguing over issues that have no bearing on the daily realities of the constituencies they represent.