Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Caroline Postma's Political Career Is Over

Or will she become what she used to be, the People's Choice? It is really up to her now.

I knew Councillor Mom extremely well. In her first successful run for Council, she and I used to talk a lot about the campaign. In fact, I probably helped save her political life after she made a huge gaffe that she thought would cost her signifcant support in Ward 2. It did not since she heeded my advice even against her own political judgment.

However, as often happens, she and I had a blowup several years ago about an issue that has cast a dark shadow over our relationship.

I expect that my views of her have been coloured by that experience but I thought I saw a big change in her. She was losing the spark that I saw in her when she was first elected. She just did not have the drive that she had. It was almost as if she had given up. She was becoming the politician that she despised the most and probably knew it but could never admit it to herself.

She is humoured by her Council colleagues. Tolerated. Not taken seriously to be blunt about it. She is a West Ender after all. In doing so, her Council mates are completely underestimating her. She is probably smarter than most, a quick learn and an able politician who has the ability to relate to her constituents. That is called electability.

She has tried hard, too hard in my opinion, to be accepted by the Mayor and other Councillors. In doing so, she has lost her way. She has become a person who allowed herself to be manipulated so that she can remain a Team Player.

I have to admit that I have not taken her seriously politicially for some time. Without going into it at this time, her latest effort to have the homes torn down on Indian Road I found laughable and completely unbelievable. While she appeared to want to find a solution as everyone's friend, she was making enemies of everyone and fooling no one.

Her "The grass ain't going to cut it" remark was a clear indication to me that she was being used as a political pawn in a much bigger game that she probably did not understand. She was viewing it as a Ward 2 matter, which it clearly is not.

So imagine my surprise when she wrote her BLOG "ENOUGH ALREADY."

In it, she effectively undercut completely the Mayor and the City's position on negotiations. She basically demonstrated that only arbitration can be the way to arrive at a resolution.
  • "I strongly believe that for the past 7 weeks council has not given our negotiating team the tools to truly negotiate. We have set parameters for them but have not given them the autonomy required to get a contract. In essence they have been negotiating with themselves."

That is a damning indictment of the Mayor and Council that explains to me why the Mayor is so afraid of Arbitration. The City would lose again. Badly. And Eddie would be blamed, the finger pointed right at him!

What will CUPE's lawyers do with this bombshell. They better do something fast because damage control has started already.

I must admit that I did not know whether to take her remarks seriously or not. Was this another political game by her so that the strikers would support her even though she did not mean it? After all, about a week or so ago she opposed, as did all of her colleagues, "the concept of binding arbitration."

Then she turned around completely and seconded this Motion a few days later:

  • "seconded by Councillor Postma

    THAT the City agree to proceed to interest arbitration pursuant to section 40 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act with respect to the current labour situation with CUPE Locals 82 and 543, with the issues to be referred to have definedparameters and to be agreed upon by the parties.

    Councillors Jones, Postma, and Lewenza voting aye."

What caused that transformation. Had she really had enough of the BS? I was surprised by that move but was still suspicious.

Until this morning's Star. I read this remark by the head of the City's negotiating team:

  • "We cannot negotiate with ourselves ... there has to be a willingness for movement," said Windsor corporate services general manager Helga Reidel, who heads the city's negotiating team and who was present at Tuesday's meeting."

What an interesting choice of language. A deliberate, subliminal message by a frustrated Senior Bureaucrat to the Public meant to demonstrate that Caroline was correct?

Then this remark by the Mayor which clinched it for me. The political destruction of Councillor Mom had commenced. She should expect more brutality down the road as I warned her after she wrote one of her BLOGs. She was going to become a Blind Mouse after daring to defy Mayoral unity:

  • "Hearing that Ryan had told reporters at the CUPE news conference that the union had heard "on fairly good authority it was actually 6-4," Francis blasted those on the city side he claims are feeding false information to the strikers. He blamed the protracted labour dispute in part on the "overreliance placed (by CUPE) on what they've heard from a member of council."

    As with Ryan the night before, Francis urged an end to "third-parties injecting themselves into the negotiations" on the part of both sides."
That is right. Stay out Caroline! Shut your mouth! Do not perform your legal responsibilities. Let Eddie run this strike the way he wants to do so for his reasons! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

That is the wrong way to deal with Caroline. It gets her back up when she feels she is trapped in a corner like that. I would expect her now to become more public, not less.

It is funny, Eddie's slam has given her more credibility than if he had ignored her. He has verified the truth of what she has said. She has told the world what is really going on in Windsor with this strike. Is this why CUPE members are suffering personally and financially.

Caroline made a deliberate choice when she wrote her BLOG. Was she tired or afraid of the Councillor she was becoming? Did she want to become that Councillor that she was when she was first elected who was not afraid to stir up City Hall and the media? Did she finally remember who she was supposed to please and it was not her Council colleagues? Is she now true to herself again!

Does she have the guts to go public on other matters that trouble residents? I hope so for her sake politically. No one would dare touch her. She need not be afraid of the Star. She need only look to Councillor Halberstadt to understand that opposition to City Hall can do wonders for one's political career. I can hardly wait to see her Youtube video!

Tells us more Councillor. You owe it to yourself. AND TO US.

Just to remind her. She is always welcome in the phone booth! She has the number.