Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Motto For Montague

The election is over. Decisions have been made and a new council will be in place later this week. The deep divisions over the lawsuit and other issues remain. There has been fallout from the vote in the comment threads on this blog and in the pages of the newspaper.

Today's Reckless has a rebuttal of the letter from Liz Boisvenue, signed by Don Page. While I wasn't a huge fan of the original letter, and posted on it at the time, I'm not sure this next move is that helpful either.

Mr. Page's letter contains the accusation that Ms. Boisvenue's letter was written by another individual. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't, but that's something that ultimately is between Ms. Boisvenue and her conscience, and the rest of us can't know for sure. I hear that there may be an employment relationship between Ms. Boisvenue and one of the former council, but that doesn't prove anything. After the history of unproven allegations in this township, and the consequences thereof, I really can't see adding another one as being helpful.

Given that the accusation is not proveable, to describe the decision by the Reckless to print the original letter as 'an editorial disgrace' is a little strong for my liking as well.

I agree with the point that the original letter fails to respect the majority of Montague citizens who voted for change. I agree that it tars all members of the MRA with an unjustified and untruthful brush. I agree that Ms. Boisvenue's was not a helpful contribution to any kind of healing process or moving on. I just don't think that the response necessarily rose as far above the original as it could have done.

I also wonder if Mr. Page is writing as an individual, or as Vice President of the MRA. The letter doesn't say; it leaves us wondering if this is the position of the organization or just one individual?

This brings me to something I've been thinking about for some time. I think we should all keep in mind a simple test whenever we go to say anything and contribute to the future of the township now. That test is 'What do I want to happen, and how does what I am about to say contribute to making that happen?'. That's what I try to do in the blog. I'm here to express my opinions but ultimately in order to make sure that Canada and Ontario get conservatively minded government. Throughout the Montague election campaign, I wrote in support of change in council.

If what we have to say doesn't contribute to an end, but rather is an emotional response that will only make us feel better, then I think we should pause, reflect and try not to say it. There should still be debate and discussion and we will continue to have a variety of points of view, but the conversation should be about directions and goals, and points made should be in pursuit of those. Re-hashing the past, or exchanging slight for slight does not meet this test. Mr. Page says that the Record News has a responsibility to help Montague heal its wounds. Maybe so. But the responsibility for healing Montague's wounds rests primarily with us, the citizens.

The Victorian designer William Morris wrote:
If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

I think this would be a good motto for Montague's future.