Smear campaigns and our local democracy

Ben Isitt
Ben Isitt
Jun 14 · 2 min read

Comments by Ben Isitt at the Victoria City Council Meeting of June 13, 2019

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I feel compelled to provide a brief comment on the toxic political culture that is being encouraged by some corporate media organizations and conservative political organizations in this country.

Responsibility resides primarily outside our community, fortunately.

To be frank, this agenda is dangerous and undermines our democratic institutions.

It distorts City Council deliberations in order to stir up emotional reactions.

And it discourages elected officials from asking the hard questions necessary to do the jobs that we were elected to do.

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The logical outcome of the smear campaign against this City Council will be the rubber stamping of every request for funding and every other decision that comes across our desks, out of fear of causing offence.

To be sure, the motion considered last week was ill-timed and it would have been better to have asked those hard questions and to have considered potential actions on any other day of the year.

If anyone was offended by the timing of City Council’s consideration of that motion, my apologies, particularly to ex-soldiers and other former members of the armed forces.

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If I had a thinner skin, I would potentially be discouraged by the perpetual smear campaign against my character since the last election.

But that is not my inclination, so instead I am going to speak out and call out the forces of reaction, in order to do the job that the people of Victoria elected me to do.