Town council’s way of shifting bla

Readers challenges Ponoka town council modus operandi and questions sincerity of community engagement.

Dear Editor,


As of recent, Town Council has solicited the residents for their opinion for the upcoming budget.  Superficially and under the toted guise of “community engagement”, this may appear as a sincere gesture to have citizens participate in the decision making process. Then again, do not be misled by the appearance of things, for show is not substance.

If you want to patronize citizens, one only needs to develop a public opinion survey that creates the illusion of participation.  It’s important to understand these surveys only reflect the opinions of the users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent participants in general, nor the public as a whole.  In fact, voluntary responses from opinion surveys such as these are not even considered to be viable surveys. By definition, relevant surveys involve sampling as a way to estimate figures for a larger population, defined this way, voluntary responses from Internet visitors are not surveys. The online survey is so corruptible that it can be filled out multiple times, you can have friends in Red Deer fill out the survey and if you’re truly curious, yes even family members who reside in Australia can complete the survey multiple times;  needless to say the information collected is utterly useless, well, almost useless.

Given the track record of questionable tactics and actions council has been involved in, ranging from blaming the County of Ponoka for their own incompetence regarding the Gymnastic Club land transfer to suggesting taking a cut, illegal mind you, of funds allocated for children’s education, maybe they decided it’s time to pass the buck. With the weight of those epic failures on their plate, maybe it would be more opportunistic to create a scapegoat for the future decisions, just in case.

How easy could it be to simply generate a corruptible and pamphlet of generic topics that citizens may or may not be informed about, and give the impression they are contributing.  They could offer an information session at 4:30 in the afternoon to ensure the least amount of people can attend, but they can say they had a chance.  Then when they approve the budget, any way they see fit, they can hold the residents responsible for their survey responses or lack of responses. Now, sure the information gathered will be easily corrupted, most likely uninformed and utterly useless in the decision process, but at least they now have a way to shift blame to residents for the outcome of council’s decisions.


> Keep it Real…


Craig Saunders