I’m not saying anything’s fishy, but . . .

You get paranoid working in politics.

You get paranoid working in politics. In a world where nothing is ever quite true and every word and action has to be picked over for some hidden meaning, you start to lose touch with what the average person might call reality. Nine times out of 10 you’re wrong and there’s no intrigue or machiavellian conspiracy hidden away in the rumours and assumptions of the political day to day, and so any good pol develops a healthy distrust for gut reactions.

So, it was with healthy skepticism and an open mind that I approached the recent allocation of committee appointments for Victoria city councillors. On the mayor’s recommendation, council approved 42 committee appointments last week, ranging from the purely ceremonial Honorary Citizen Committee to the political suicide mission that is CREST. Thrown into the mix were this year’s standing committee members, neighbourhood liaisons and all manner of other business-as-usual positions not worth mentioning here.

While there’s nothing even remotely interesting about many of these appointments, it’s not what’s being done but who gets to do it that deserves a second glance. Apart from six CRD positions chosen by voters, appointments were divided up by Mayor Dean Fortin. Councillors Madoff and Alto led the pack at seven positions each, followed by Isitt and Gudgeon with six, Young with five, Thornton-Joe and Helps with four and Coleman with only three meetings to occupy the long hours between public hearings.

Even with an open mind, it’s hard not to see a political motivation when the only two remaining members of the Dean Team top a list of appointments that follow neither popularity with voters — the top polling members of council are Young, Thornton-Joe, Isitt and Helps — or seniority, the prize for which goes overwhelmingly to Councillor Young.

Sure, you get paranoid working in a world that rewards favouritism and the politics of personality. Sure, most of what politicians do is pomp and ceremony, but under all the strutting and rhetoric is a greater purpose — a better life for everyone in our community. But when pure politics might just stand in the way of the only goal we all seem to be able to agree on, maybe that paranoia is justified. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

Most Read