GUELPH POLITICAST #137 – Megan Stacey, London Free Press Reporter

Here in Guelph you’ll always find someone that will tell you government’s all wrong. It’s filled with the corrupt and the opportunistic, and no one that cares about the day-to-day issues of concern to citizens. Well, imagine living in an Ontario city where voters turned over 11 of 14 council seats, plus the mayor, and still couldn’t get out of actual scandal.

Consider this paragraph from a recent London Free Press article entitled, “Elusive L-word — leadership — hangs over London mayoral race”:

“Distrust of politicians isn’t exclusive to London, but its recent track record at the top thrust London under a harsh national spotlight and did nothing to inspire voter confidence: Mayor Matt Brown’s affair with council colleague Maureen Cassidy, a fraud conviction for then-mayor Joe Fontana, the criminal charges that dogged the husband of Anne Marie Decicco-Best, who is the city’s longest-serving mayor, and Dianne Haskett’s refusal to issue a gay pride proclamation in 1995.”

Yes, that’s the political picture in London, Ontario right now. Just a few miles down the road, but a world of difference. In London this year, there are just over 30 people running for the 14 council seats, but there are 14 people running for mayor. In an election year where many cities in Ontario have struggle to put challengers on the ballot, London is a veritable hotbed of civic engagement by comparison. What’s driving all these wannabe mayors?

To talk about the very populous mayor’s race and other electoral issues in London, the Guelph Politicast reached out to Megan Stacey, who covers the election, and city hall, for the London Free Press. Stacey lends her expertise in Forest City political affairs, including the complex background of nationally covered scandals that brought London voters to thie election.

Aside from all that controversy though, Stacey also talks about the issues in the London’s election, and why some of them might sound familiar to some Guelph politicos. Speaking of the Royal City, our vocal electoral reform lobby here should pay attention to her insights into Ranked Choice Voting, as London is the only municipality that took the option for 2018. Stacey will also discuss the challenges of covering a wide-ranging municipal election in a modern daily newspaper office.

So let’s talk about London politics on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast.

You can read Megan Stacey’s daily coverage of local politics in London by visiting the London Free Press online here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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