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Taking part in debate good for everyone

Their responsibility is that they will listen to the discord and harmony of public discourse and determine the right direction for our public good. To emphasize, we expect them to listen. However, it appears they are failing to meet that expectation. When Mr. Smitherman hosts a town hall meeting and fails to reflect a basic level of empathy with his constituents, telling them the plant will be built regardless of what they have to say, he fails our expectations to listen.

Re: In defence of the NIMBY, column by Debora Kelly, Feb. 19.

I our democratic province, the voice of every citizen needs to not only be heard but listened to.

It is simply wrong for Premier Dalton McGuinty to ignore opposition to wind farms and other green energy programs or dismiss it simply as NIMBYism.

This may surprise many people who know me because I advocate for healthier, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to our energy needs rather than fossil-fuelled options such as a peaker power plant.

You could be a real estate agent who is opposed to transmission lines, a mother with asthma who is opposed to a peaker power plant or a cottager who is opposed to a wind farm. You should raise your issues even though you risk being accused of being misinformed and lacking logic.

Regardless of your self-interest, it is your active contribution to the public debate that will help us all to achieve a greater public good. The point is, regardless if you classify someone as a citizen watchdog or NIMBY, each voice plays a role in the melody of public debate.

I don't envy either Premier McGuinty or Energy Minister George Smitherman. Their responsibility is that they will listen to the discord and harmony of public... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Re: In defence of the NIMBY, column by Debora Kelly, Feb. 19.

I our democratic province, the voice of every citizen needs to not only be heard but listened to.

It is simply wrong for Premier Dalton McGuinty to ignore opposition to wind farms and other green energy programs or dismiss it simply as NIMBYism.

This may surprise many people who know me because I advocate for healthier, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to our energy needs rather than fossil-fuelled options such as a peaker power plant.

You could be a real estate agent who is opposed to transmission lines, a mother with asthma who is opposed to a peaker power plant or a cottager who is opposed to a wind farm. You should raise your issues even though you risk being accused of being misinformed and lacking logic.

Regardless of your self-interest, it is your active contribution to the public debate that will help us all to achieve a greater public good. The point is, regardless if you classify someone as a citizen watchdog or NIMBY, each voice plays a role in the melody of public debate.

I don't envy either Premier McGuinty or Energy Minister George Smitherman. Their responsibility is that they will listen to the discord and harmony of public discourse and determine the right direction for our public good. To emphasize, we expect them to listen.

However, it appears they are failing to meet that expectation. When Mr. Smitherman hosts a town hall meeting and fails to reflect a basic level of empathy with his constituents, telling them the plant will be built regardless of what they have to say, he fails our expectations to listen.

Attitudes such as this by government representatives are more suited to a dictatorship, not a democracy.

My worry is that while we lament about the dwindling numbers of voters and active citizens, representatives of our government are fuelling the democratic deficit with behaviours and attitudes such as this.

My hope is Premier McGuinty and Mr. Smitherman take a second look in the mirror and remember governing is not just about acting, it is about listening.


Source: http://www.yorkregion.com/a...

FEB 28 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19311-taking-part-in-debate-good-for-everyone
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