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Sep. 22, 2020 | Tuesday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Machiavellian politics in NOTL

Dear editor:

Gnothi Sophian means “Seek wisdom, know the truth,” which my peers taught me in Grade 10. “Is it the truth?” is part of the four-way test, which I was taught as a founding member of NOTL Rotary.  

Machiavellian politics does not subscribe to the truth as it seeks to distort or evade it. Is Machiavellian politics, or should I say Toronto politics, prevalent at NOTL council? If so by whom?

A few weeks ago when a draconian noise bylaw appeared on the council agenda, there was public outrage with 15,000-plus signatures opposing it. With this overwhelming opposition Lord Mayor Betty Disero announced on TV news that she signed the petition opposing this bylaw. When questioned by the reporter the mayor responded she did not know who/how this noise bylaw came forward. How Machiavellian is that! 

The most Machiavellian part is that we are told that the dead hand of a previous council made this report magically appear. I wonder if Disero, as a councillor back then, was the mover of a motion for a report or did she just merely support it? 

To judge the truth, a person needs to know the process. Before anything appears on the agenda, other than of a legal time frame, it passes before the mayor and is given the nod. 

Second, when a signature is absent from a report that means the author (staff) does not agree with the report, meaning political pressure likely brought this report forward. 

Third, motions for a report made by a previous council two years ago are typically dead and do not bind the new mayor.

So with this knowledge let us always “Seek wisdom and know the truth” and ask ourselves every time “Is it the truth?”.     

Jamie Slingerland