Gaetan:  not truly satisfied with the outcome then now is the time to start your plan to run again in 2026.

By Joe Gaetan

October 25th, 2022



Winston Churchill once said,” The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

If 2018 was the year of the upset and the season for a sea change in the political landscape of Burlington the election of 2022 was the season of the status-quo. According to the unofficial results, approximately 23,000 fewer people decided the 2022 municipal election in Burlington was not worth the effort.

ECOB: a grass roots organization  formed by citizens who were not happy with the Mayor and the direction he was taking the city. They organized debates in every ward of the city that were exceptionally well attended. Their success was the result of one person who did the bulk of the work.  The organization failed to attract membership that would continue the work of representing public interests

The political landscape in 2018 was such that the electorate was angry with what was happening at council and in particular with how our city was being overrun with tall buildings in the wrong places. At the time, most incumbents had been in place for a number of years, two-decade long incumbents decided it was time to quit municipal political life and one council member decided now was the time to take a run at the top job. This set the stage for a barnburner and exciting election cycle. As well at the time a grass roots organization called ECOB decided Burlington deserved and needed a better format for debates and put in place a rigorous format that all residents in Burlington were able to take advantage of, should they choose to do so. That was clearly not the case in 2022 as the will of the electorate and therefore, the democratic machinery at the grassroots level was non-existent.

To the people who chose to run but were not elected this time, do not give up. Rome was not built in a day. If you were not truly satisfied with the outcome and think you should have won, then now is the time to start your plan to run again in 2026.

If the 2022 election is a “more of the same” election, is the message to council, you did a great job over the past four years? If so, hopefully that will not include more closed meetings, slow starts on issues like the Coyote file, backbiting, more red tape and how council chooses to spend taxpayers’ money, especially out of the reserve fund.

Having said that, I respect anyone who chooses to run for office and wish to congratulate the Mayor and Council for offering their services and wish them the best over the next years.

To the successful candidates, please remember,” A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.” —James Freeman Clarke

The Gazette asked a number of people to comment on the 2022 election. Joe Gaetan is a ward 2 resident who comments on civic affairs frequently

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3 comments to Gaetan:  ‘not truly satisfied with the outcome then now is the time to start your plan to run again in 2026’.

  • Earl Chapman

    Nice piece, Joe. You hit all the right notes.

  • Crystal Stewart

    If we were so upset with the towers pre-2018, why did ward 5 continue to elect the man from the previous council under which it all happened? How did they elect him a 4th time after his developer donations and connections come to light? After voting began he was even caught sharing private citizen information because someone beat him to releasing information and he wanted to one-up them, breaking privacy laws & breaching the city’s code of conduct. Yet people happily continued to vote him back in. I doubt much will change but I can hope that Mr. Sharman finally realizes he has more to his ward than just south of the QEW and starts governing as such.

  • Thanks for this Joe, Anne has already been offered support for the next election believe it or not.