Is there an independent candidate about to declare his intention to run October 6th ? Sounds like Casey Cosgrove wants to run.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 15th, 2011 – Elections are fascinating events. People talk about who is going to run for public office and who is ahead and why this person should hold office and why this person shouldn’t.

We organize our elections around political parties whose members decide who their candidate will be. The political party that wins the most seats forms the government. We’ve been doing it that was since Confederation. However, one does not have to belong to a political party to run for public office. A person can deice to run as an independent and not be attached to a political party. There is an honourable tradition of independents in this country – and Burlington just might produce the next independent to sit in the provincial legislature.

Casey Cosgrove – running as an independent?

Casey Cosgrove – running as an independent?

It all seemed to start with some chatter on the internet between Casey Cosgrove, Lawrence Winterburn and Brian Heagle. Here is the way the Facebook chatter went.

Casey Cosgrove had made a comment about the way the provincial election was going and Brian Heagle, 2009 Citizen of the Year, candidate for Ward 4 in the last municipal election and a candidate for the Progressive Conservative nomination before he withdrew replied:

Heagle wrote: “Casey, I didn’t realize you spoke Daltonese – and in several languages!. The decision to “green light” redevelopment is opportunistic, but not just for Liberals with their vote-getting timing. It’s the chance for Burlington voters to elect an MPP who understands and will support the community for such a vitally important concern – regardless of political orientation, or who may want to “kill the deal”. Voters need to look closely at the individual, not so much their Party, in this case. We will need a true local champion with integrity, smarts and tenacity to keep the “green light” on after October 6.”

Cosgrove, who was a candidate in Ward 5 in the 2006 election and came a very respectable second (480 votes behind Rick Goldring who won and went on to challenge Mayor Cam Jackson in 2010 and won at that level as well.) Cosgrove is the director of the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy (CCFL), which is a division of the national charitable organization and also teaches at Guelph University, Casey responded: “ you’ve got me thinking of running as an independent in October. gosh, just when things were quieting down around here..”

Lawrence Winterburn then jumped in with:

“Paying wealthy people to put up solar panels, increasing taxes in the middle of a recession-(no Ontario isn’t even close to back where we were-regardless of propaganda-), Trading good paying jobs for part time retail sounds like a progressive plan. Ontario has great leadership presently…. of course I have a 60 IQ and I am blind from starvation…but yes, re-elect Dalton. Casey–you will notice this is a non- partisan comment, any party is fine with me too, I just want somebody with benevolence, intellect and honorable intent.”

Heagle came back with:

“Casey, I believe Lawrence may have just provided your campaign for MPP with a great slogan: “Cosgrove – The Benevolent Independent”.”

Cosgrove wasn’t going to let that stand and came back with:

“I don’t use words I can’t define. I don’t like independent, I prefer interdependent. Brian, I have a couple hundred ‘engage, listen, lead’ signs that have been rotting behind the shed for 6 years – I may just use those. I also have 2 old Heagle signs back there if you want them :)”

The dialogue then took a surprising twist when Casey wrote:

“Brian, I will credit you and one other friend-Chris K, for getting me worked up enough that I may just do this. so tired of all three leaders…just cleared it with Bryna.. Looks like one more kick at the can for me :). Larry – I know you will join my team!”

Later in the day Cosgrove goes public – sort of ands says:

Musing today about a run in the fall election as an independent (interdependent). Not sure I could sit under a banner of any of the three party leaders at this point, so why not just run under my own ‘Burlington ‘ banner? Am I joking? Not really. Bryna just smiled, gave me that ‘uh,oh, I see that look in your eyes’ glance….hmmm, decisions, decisions.. 🙂

In a message sent to us from Cosgrove he said:I clearly don’t mind people knowing I’m frustrated enough to be thinking about this, but I wanted you to know I will spend the next couple weeks at the cottage with the family before even considering jumping in. Just wanted to be up front with you.

Cosgrove seems to have said he could be an independent candidate and go after the Burlington seat at Queen’s Park. Wow, this social media does make things happen. We may not use the media the way the thugs in London use it and we may not use it to take to the streets the way they did in Cairo – but seeing it used to bring another candidate to the surface. Amazing, truly amazing.




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